Poverty In Illinois: Highest Ever

Racism Toll

The Heartland Alliance, a not-for-profit research group, just published its report on the conditions of poverty and its findings cements the economic disparities prevalent in communities of color throughout the state.  The report highlights the differences in life issues across “every single quality of life domain” and ask the critical questions. “How could this be?” “In America?” “In 2016?”

“The uncomfortable truth is that we haven’t made nearly as much progress on issues of racial equity as we like to think,” the group says. Sure, there are no overt Jim Crow laws on the books. However, a closer look reveals some powerful background forces working to maintain an unequal status quo in which white people are born into many, often unrecognized advantages that help them realize their innate potential (referred to as white privilege), and people of color are not, the report contends.

Amongst the Chicago based group’s findings are poverty rates are 2 to 3 times higher for Illinoisans of color. Graduation rates for high schoolers are 10 to 15 percent lower and there are close to two million Illinoisans that live in poverty. And an additional 2.1 million low-income people of color in Illinois.

The report attempts to address this racial inequality by looking at the systems put in place that perpetuates its existence. And ends by suggesting ideas to address the inequality and injustice. You can download the report at:


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