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Behind the Numbers: What the Latest Opportunity Index Tells Us About Our Communities

August 27, 2020

The latest Opportunity Index is out, how does your community measure up? To get the full answer, we need to dig into the data and examine it disaggregated by race. Only then can we understand who truly has opportunity, and how well our Zip Codes are living up to the American promise of opportunity for all.

Opportunity Nation’s Delbria Walton guides us through the latest release, with an in-depth look at one state that is very much in the headlines.

In Demanding Justice For Black People, Are We Sacrificing the Peace of Black Youth?

August 12, 2020

Oppression has robbed Black youth of their childhood for centuries. Beverly Daniel Tatum, the author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” remembers the conversation she had with her son at age 3 when a peer attributed his dark skin to drinking too much chocolate milk. Tatum’s explanation and the conversations she had with him throughout his life leads to a bigger question: Why do Black children have to learn about racism before they learn cursive?

Seen and Heard

March 17, 2020

Housing insecurity can be an antecedent to other major issues including health disparities, high youth disconnection rates, economic growth and greater dependence on public assistance. Many of these often overlapping factors are also the driving cause of minorities moving into low-income public housing in the first place.

The Opportunity Index is a data tool to calculate the opportunity score for every U.S. state and most counties. This score identifies challenges and successes across four dimensions: economy, health, community and education. The East End scored 51.7 out of 100 in economy. For context, Virginia has a score of 61.1, an almost 10-point difference. The national economy score is 55.4 — still higher than Richmond.

Opportunity Nation’s Index in Your Inbox: Looking at the Economy

December 13, 2019

The Opportunity Index uses 20 indicators across four dimensions to provide users with a numerical measurement of opportunity across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The four dimensions of community well-being are: the economy, education, health, and community. To better understand how each dimension and its indicators help to craft this unique score, the Forum will take a deep dive into each, identifying its impact on opportunity, implications for change, and policies that could help communities move forward.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important