Racial Equity Dashboard

Last week, we published some stark data on the opportunity gap facing students in the Cape Fear region on our Racial Equity Dashboard. For some, that gap starts in kindergarten and persists throughout their academic career. The coronavirus pandemic only exacerbated the opportunity gaps between Black and white students with long term effects on the region’s workforce, economic mobility and public health.

But this isn’t just an education problem. 

It’s an economic, health and workforce problem begging for a community solution. Deputy Superintendent Dr. LaChawn Smith said it is going to take the whole community to close the opportunity gap.

“We need from the community a strong infrastructure that allows families to have internet access in their homes that supports streaming. We need families to have children in remote learning spaces with support,” Smith said.
Read the rest of the story here.

The economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come, but according to the results of our regional Cape Fear Talent survey, employers are still hiring. Over 55% of employers surveyed since mid-March indicated their businesses would grow over the next three years.

"So, amid the pandemic and this jobs downturn, businesses are still expressing optimism about hiring,” Michael Hogan, economic development analyst with RTI International said Tuesday during the survey’s unveiling. “But it's lower than peer regions in previous years. So, what we are optimistic about and what the data shows us is that companies are still planning for growth and they are expecting to hire between 9,600 and 17,500 new employees in the next three years."

Click here to catch up on what almost 500 regional employers told us about skills, training, and education needed for future job openings.

On this week's Collective Voice, we’re talking to Andre Brown, a local attorney and community leader, about growing up as a Black man in Wilmington.

Some of you might remember I talked to Andre about the Confederate monuments a few weeks ago, and we had such a good conversation about other topics that I wanted to circle back. During our conversation, we talk about how he felt isolated growing up in a working middle class neighborhood, how moving to Houston for law school changed his life and if he thinks race relations in our country will be better 10 years from now.

The thing I took away most from this conversation is having a chance to see the world through Andre’s eyes. I don’t think we do that enough and it is something I strive to do whenever possible because empathy is underrated.

Listen to the podcast here.

- Kevin Maurer
Click Here to Explore the Dashboard
Next week, we'll update the dashboard with insights into the  justice system, voter behavior and COVID-19 impacts.

For the Racial Equity Dashboard to reflect our community and be a collaborative effort, we need your insights. After you explore the dashboard, tells us what you think at
Photo by Mallory Cash.
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