Black community closes achievement gap in Kansas City, but still work to do, report says

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Since 2006, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City has been looking at closing the exposing the socioeconomic gaps between black and white people in Kansas City.

On Thursday, the organization released its latest State of Black Kansas City.

The report showed African Americans in Kansas City made significant gains in social justice, economics and civic engagement overall. The gains have been stagnant in recent years.

The nearly 200-page report shows how to close the gaps and takes an in-depth look at several factors including economics, education, health care, crime social justice and civic engagement.

“The overall society for white people is doing fine. We need to look at the disparities,” said Gwen Grant, president of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

The report found that the median income for African Americans in Kansas City is about 54% less than white counterparts.

In education, black students graduated high school at a higher rate than white students, but twice as many white students earned bachelor’s degrees.

The report also found African Americans are given prison sentences nearly two years longer than whites.

The study was done in conjunction with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Human Development.

"It is frustrating because the progress has been rather slow, but it`s also encouraging that we`re seeing some different things happen in Kansas City,” Grant said.

The report found, overall, black people in Kansas City are at a nearly 30% gap compared to white people in key issues using factors in an Equality Index.

Furthermore, the study found the gap for Hispanic people compared to white people in the same factors was slightly over 20%.

Grant said it’s time to go to work in doing a better job to close the gaps.

You can learn more about the study here.

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