Springs scores high on racial equity for African Americans

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MetroTrends of the Urban Institute has ranked American cities for racial equity for African Americans, and guess what, Colorado Springs is 11th out of 100 cities ranked.

Is Colorado Springs really as colorblind as our feathered friends?
  • Are Colorado Springs residents really as colorblind as our feathered friends?

Click on MetroTrends above for an interactive map.

The website describes the project like this:

The MetroTrends team has graded the nation’s 100 biggest metros on five indicators of metro-wide racial equity. The rankings reflect residential segregation and gaps between blacks and whites in neighborhood income, school test scores, adult employment rates, and homeownership. The best? Albuquerque, NM. The worst? Milwaukee, WI.

Colorado Springs was given an A overall. In specific areas, its ratings were A for residential segregation and school test score gap, and B for neighborhood income gap, employment gap and home ownership gap.

Here are the definitions of those categories as provided by Urban Institute:

Residential segregation: Dissimilarity index, reported by Brown University’s US2010 project, using 2010 Census data. The dissimilarity index ranges from 0 to 100, where 100 reflects complete separation between two groups.

Neighborhood Income Gap: Percent difference between the median income of the average non-Hispanic white’s neighborhood and that of the average black or Latino. Reported by Brown University’s US2010 project, using 2009 ACS data.

School Test Score Gap: Percent difference between the state test score ranking of the school attended by the average non-Hispanic white student and that of the school attended by the average black or Latino student. Reported by Brown University’s US2010 project, using 2009 ACS data.

Employment Gap: Percent difference between the share of working-age non-Hispanic whites who are employed and the corresponding share of blacks or Latinos, based on 2010 Census data.

Homeownership Gap: Percent difference between the share of non-Hispanic white households that are homeowners and the corresponding share of black or Latino households, based on 2010 Census data.

James Tucker, a 37-year resident of Colorado Springs and former local NAACP president, dismissed the results, saying, "The truth is, they're not telling the truth about African Americans in Colorado Springs. It's obvious they didn't communicate with the African Americans in the city."

He said Mayor Steve Bach has a "really white administration" and "is not connected with the African American community." Bach has named one person of color, Donna Nelson, to an administrative post so far.

Tucker, who's known for his outspoken criticism on racial issues, said the city has no laws to protect black citizens. "There's no where in this city you can turn to for help," he says. "There is no fairness in Colorado Springs when it comes to African Americans. The city of Colorado Springs has failed to invest our tax money in programs that would help prevent African American young men and women from going to prison. The whole report is a smokescreen."

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