Local reaction to National Urban League’s 2020 State of Black America

The 2020 State of Black America, unmasked

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The National Urban League released a report called “The 2020 State of Black America, Unmasked.”

The report outlines how Blacks are doing when it comes to healthcare, economics, education, social justice and civil engagement.

National Urban League CEO Marc Morial calls it a crisis.

The report is done every two years. Leaders in America are fighting a pandemic, high unemployment numbers and racial inequality - the condition of Blacks was put into sharp focus.

“We got a long way to go because when it comes to economic wealth,” Urban League of Central Carolinas President/CEO Teddy McDaniel said. “There was an erasure of black wealth prior to the pandemic so the black community never fully recovered from the loss of the great recession.”

The Urban League used data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity to prove the case that more work needs to take place when it comes to healthcare and a lack of economic mobility for Blacks.

The report shows national death rates among Blacks dying from COVID-19 are 1 in 1,450 compared to 1 in 3,350 for Whites.

When it comes to people able to work from home to earn a paycheck during this pandemic - nearly 20 percent are Black workers while about 30 percent of Whites are able to work from home.

McDaniel believes in addition to tackling healthcare and wages - there must be a conversation and action when dealing with race relations.

“You cannot deal with racial inequality if you don’t deal with race,” McDaniel said. “Specific plans - we can see exactly where the gaps are. So you have to be very intentional and strategic and I am concerned - but I am emboldened.”

Urban League of Central Carolinas knows the problems. Leadership wants to work on the solutions.

“We are investing locally in more training,” McDaniel said. “Rapid re-employment, wealth building activities.”

McDaniel wants more programs to help the community especially the homeless population. It appears those programs and job skills are working.

Jarod Bullard was in between jobs when he came to the Urban League of Central Carolinas. He received HVAC skills and now have the training and desire to become an entrepreneur. He credits his promising future to the Urban League.

“The encouragement and empowerment was the most important thing for me.” Urban League Central Carolinas Graduate Jarod Bullard said.

Bullard knows the State of Black America needs to be improved but there are obstacles like systemic racism. He says he tried not to struggle during 2020 but admits that was a challenge. He is optimistic that things will get better.

“We are seeing a lot of change right now that’s necessary,” he said. “I feel like it’s been unprecedented but it was bound to happen. We have been at a stage where we have seen ourselves at a lower state than the rest of the nation and we just trying to build ourselves. We’ve been through a lot.”

McDaniel says he will remain optimistic when it comes to the State of Black America. He believes in order to see steady progress - there needs to be a commitment from all races.

“We didn’t get here by ourselves,” McDaniel said. “We need everybody at the table. We want to be self-sufficient, invest and we’re capable of doing things on our own.”

To read The 2020 State of Black America, Unmasked click here.

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