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Urban League to host news conference, release State of Black Winston-Salem Report

On Tuesday, July 18th at 11:00 am at the Winston-Salem Urban League’s Vivian Burke Quality of Life Center at 3441 North Patterson Ave., the Winston-Salem Urban League will release the State of Black Winston-Salem Report. The report, previewed by Urban League members and partners who attended the organization’s annual meeting, presents indices that compare the standing of African-Americans in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County to white residents. It is modeled after the decades old, annual, State of Black America Report published by the National Urban League.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle previewed and will publish an exclusive article about the report’s findings on Thursday, July 13th.

Stunningly, the report shows that black residents in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County earn only .62 cents for each dollar made by white residents. Black residents in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County have a homeownership rate that is half that of white residents. Black residents are half as likely to have access to healthy food. Black residents have a death rate 1.25 times that of white residents. Arrests of black residents for nonviolent traffic offenses in Winston-Salem, occur at a rate approximately 1.4% more frequent than for white residents.

Most stunning, perhaps, are the education indices. Forsyth County black third graders are approximately 60% less likely to read at grade level than white third graders. Regrettably, this disturbing trend carries forward to high school in English II where low testing performance continues. The data trends similarly for math.

Urban League CEO James Perry remarked, “while the data is alarming, it confirms the experience of many in the metro area who live life at the margin of society. Black families have always known that they were trying to do more with less. This report tells us exactly how much less. A better understanding of the problems allows us to pivot to solutions. These are not challenges for black Winston-Salem or white Winston-Salem, these are challenges that can only be solved by a united Winston-Salem.”

The full report will be available at www.wsurban.org.

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