Home Uncategorized Caught at the Intersection of Race, Place, and Poverty

Caught at the Intersection of Race, Place, and Poverty

March 1, 2014 – 29 Adar I 5774

low-income men slideThe Great Recession significantly increased the number of men struggling with joblessness and underemployment. But for many low-income men, joblessness and its related struggles are chronic concerns regardless of the state of the economy. These are the men whose disconnection from mainstream economic and social structures has made it challenging for them to support themselves and their families, and to participate richly and constructively in mainstream society.

This background paper was prepared for a symposium held in fall 2012 to address these issues.
The theme of the symposium was “Race, Place, and Poverty,” a title chosen because it is at the intersection of race and place that poverty and associated issues are magnified. The incidence of poverty is much higher among African Americans and Hispanics than among whites.

This outcome is closely associated with factors that increase anyone’s likelihood of being low income: low educational attainment, lack of steady employment, a record of incarceration, and poor health. But these barriers are much higher for racial and ethnic minorities, and this stems partly from the fact that they often live in highly impoverished, socioeconomically and ethnically segregated communities that lack good schools, job opportunities, and access to healthcare. In addition, many of these communities have high incidences of crime and violence, along with a pattern of policing that sharply increases young men’s encounters with the criminal justice system.

The topics featured are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. Our goal for this paper was to motivate conversation and establish a shared foundation grounded in current knowledge. We present the five domains in turn but discuss the overlaps where appropriate. The topics weave together, as they do in men’s lives. Separately, education, employment, family, contact with the criminal justice system, and health each have consequences for the other domains, and we highlight some of the rippling effects.


To read the full article from the Urban Institute click here.

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