Press Release

New NAACP Report Highlights Ways Forward from Poverty in St. Louis

February 6, 2018

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Malik Russell /mrussell@naacpnet.org

Vanessa Mbonu/ vmbonu@naacpnet.org

 

New NAACP Report Highlights Ways Forward from Poverty in St. Louis

Report analyses historical injustices, makes recommendations for State official

ST. LOUIS (February 2, 2018) – In a new report, the NAACP analyzes the impact of historical racism and segregation in St. Louis and releases its recommendations for eliminating the economic inequities existing in large swaths of the city.

For an embargoed copy of the report, contact Vanessa Mbonu at vmbonu@naacpnet.org.

“In 2018, racial tensions in St. Louis are still at alarmingly high levels, and Black residents in the city continue to lack equal access to the American dream,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “What we’ve done with this report is to take a comprehensive look at the factors that exacerbate the economic isolation in the city, give our recommendations for how to resolve these issues, and as always, provide as much support to the local communities as we can.”

Funded by Wells Fargo, the St. Louis report is one of three reports to be released on February 6 on cities that have faced social unrest in recent years due in part to community sense of economic exclusion. The other reports spotlight Baltimore, MD and Charlotte, NC.

The Economic Inclusion Plan (EIP) will be a resource for community residents, elected officials and stakeholders to alleviate systematic, government-sanctioned racial discrimination with beneficial economic policy and programmatic solutions. Releasing an EIP for the cities of Baltimore, MD, Charlotte, NC, and St. Louis, MO, the NAACP analyzed how these three cities – each marked by a history of police brutality and social unrest – fare in the face of the economic inequalities that afflict them.

“These economic inclusion plans, provide in-depth research on the current economic conditions, the policies that foster these conditions, and recommended policy changes necessary in these cities,” said Marvin J. Owens Jr., NAACP Senior Director of Economic Programs. “We are grateful for the leadership of our local chapters and state conferences who contributed to this important work and we are faithful in the fight for economic justice.”

Taking into account the stark economic gap between whites and Blacks in the country, an NAACP issued travel advisory issued for the state of Missouri, and the open wounds still left by the tragic shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer, the NAACP offered its set of problems and solutions which concern the economic state for Blacks in Missouri.

The report notes that with a dissimilarity index above 70, the St. Louis metropolitan area has an extremely high level of segregation. The home ownership rate of 75.8 percent and the median home value of $175,800 for whites in the city is almost double that of its Black residents at 40 percent and $90,100 respectively. The report provides suggestions for improvement including a resonating call for government backed fair lending practices across different sectors.

“Wells Fargo is steadfastly committed to advancing economic inclusion for African American communities, which we believe can mitigate or even prevent incidents of social unrest in cities where extreme economic disparities are pervasive,” said Gigi Dixon, head of Strategic Partnerships for Wells Fargo.  “Last year, we announced a $60 billion commitment to create at least 250,000 African American homeowners by 2027, and we will use the findings in these reports to inform the development of new products and services designed to help drive greater economic inclusion for this critical customer segment.”

The NAACP’s development of the EIPs are part of the NAACP’s commitment to enhancing the capacity of African Americans and other underserved groups.

View Report

ABOUT THE NAACP:

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting NAACP.org.

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