People of color in the United States experience poverty and its consequences at disproportionate rates and face severe gaps in opportunities and resources. CLASP believes that a racial equity agenda is essential to carrying out our mission to advance policies that reduce poverty, improve the lives of low-income families, and ensure opportunities to move out of poverty. CLASP's racial equity work raises awareness of racial disparities through thoughtful data analysis; identifies practical policy solutions that address systemic inequities; and lifts up best practices that support positive outcomes for children, youth, and adults.
CLASP is committed to policy solutions that dismantle structural and institutional racism and recognize individuals as assets to their communities and the country. Far too many poor and low-income children and adults are marginalized because of their race, ethnicity, immigration status, or nationality. People of color are disproportionately affected when public programs are inadequately or inequitably funded. Public policies that are effective, inclusive, comprehensive, and fully funded are needed to address systemic inequities and close opportunity gaps for those who are most often left behind.
CLASP is currently expanding our knowledge and capacity to address racial disparities and work toward equity through meaningful policy analysis and advocacy as well as strengthening our internal operations.
Comments on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, OMB Controls | August 2016
CLASP submitted comments concerning the questions on receipt of public benefits on Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. These questions, as proposed, perpetuate a longstanding concern among immigrants that receiving public benefits will undermine their ability to adjust their status by making them a “public charge.” This misunderstanding creates a chilling effect that prevents immigrant and mixed status families and individuals from applying for and receiving critical benefits for which they or their children are eligible. For low income families, this can have significant and lasting implications on their health and development as well as social mobility.
Buenos Empleos: Latinos' Limited Access to Quality Jobs | August 2016
Zoe Ziliak Michel and Liz Ben-Ishai
This brief summarizes available data on Latinos’ inadequate access to quality jobs. The data show why advocates and policymakers committed to racial and economic justice should pursue public policy solutions that improve access to fair, decent jobs for all workers. To that end, we also summarize key legislative proposals as well as strategies for implementing existing laws that could address inequities described in this brief.
Good Jobs for All: Racial Inequities in Job Quality | March 2016
Zoe Ziliak Michel and Liz Ben-Ishai
People of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos, are too often stuck in jobs that make caring for one’s family, going to school, advancing one’s career, or paying the bills extremely difficult. Not only do these jobs often pay low wages; they’re often low quality, as well. These jobs can be lost if one simply takes one day to recover from illness or take a child to the pediatrician. Further, their erratic schedules make planning and budgeting a nightmare, and they offer little opportunity for advancement. Within a broader context of systemic racism and discrimination, job quality—a category that includes elements beyond just wages—is a significant area of racial disparity.
Disparate Access: Head Start and CCDBG Data by Race and Ethnicity | February 2016
Stephanie Schmit and Christina Walker
High-quality child care and early education can build a strong foundation for young children's healthy development; yet, many low-income children, who could most benefit, lack access to early childhood opportunities. While these gaps in access to child care and early education are widely recognized, less is understood about how access differs by race and ethnicity.
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Participants, Programs, Families, and Staff in 2014 | February 2016
Anitha Mohan and Christina Walker
This fact sheet uses information reported through the PIR to describe the children and families served in Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and the services provided to them during the 2013-2014 program year.
Two-Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes | December 2015
Helly Lee, Christina Walker, and Olivia Golden
On April 23-24, 2015, through the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, CLASP hosted a roundtable on Two-Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes in Washington, D.C. The roundtable brought together 39 leading experts from early education, workforce development, postsecondary education, and immigration policy and practice fields to discuss two-generational strategies to support immigrant families and children. The roundtable and the brief highlighting the discussions from this event come a critical time, when immigrants and their children are a growing and significant part of the changing demographics of the U.S. and as time-sensitive opportunities around workforce development, early education and child care and immigration are at the forefront of policy making.
Children and Young Adults in Poverty: A Look by Race and Geography (Webinar) | November 2015
Child Care & Early Education and Youth Policy Teams
More than one in five children and almost one in five young adults live in households with incomes below the federal poverty line. The long-term consequences of poverty are severe for young children (under age 6), making them less likely to graduate high school, complete college, and achieve consistent employment in adulthood. Children and young adults (ages 18-24) of color experience poverty at disproportionately high rates. By 2020, children of color will no longer be a “minority” and are expected to make up over 50 percent of the U.S. population of children. Investing in their education, employment, and wellbeing is essential to the nation's economic vitality.
Investing in Young Men of Color as Community Assets | July 2015
Our investments and policy choices must value young men of color as assets vital to economic and social growth. There is no silver bullet, but there are many solutions. Federal, state, and local policy should reflect a comprehensive approach. This brief, tied to our annual forum on youth and young men color, explores such an approach.
Concentrated poverty is most prevalent in urban areas, where 34 percent of students attend high-poverty schools. Given the racial/ethnic makeup of our nation's urban centers, many of these students are children of color.Students in high-poverty schools lack the supports needed to become college ready. Course, Counselor, and Teacher Gaps: Addressing the College Readiness Challenge in High-Poverty High Schools analyzes the nation's 100 largest school districts, focusing on "high-poverty schools" (where at least 75 percent of students live in poverty) and "low-poverty schools" (where 0 to 25 percent of students live in poverty). The report identifies major gaps in school resources and their impact on youth.
CLASP Comments on WIOA Title I Proposed Regulations | June 2015
Kisha Bird and David Socolow
CLASP's comments to the U.S. Department of Labor on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) draft regulations offer recommendations for clarifying and strengthening key passages. Title I of WIOA includes several significant provisions that will increase the focus on comprehensive programming and “earn and learn” strategies for individuals with barriers to employment, out-of-school youth, and those who face the greatest challenges.
ESEA Reauthorization: Challenges & Opportunities | February 2015
Kisha Bird, Rhonda Bryant, Stephanie Schmit, and Christina Walker
Strides have been made in high school graduation rates. The national on-time high school graduation rate has steadily increased over the past decade to 80 percent. However, that figure can be misleading. Graduation rates remain lower than the national average for students of color and students in poverty. Seventy-three percent of Hispanic students and 69 percent of African American students graduate from high school—compared with 86 percent of White students.
No More Double Punishments: Lifting the Lifetime Ban on Basic Human Needs Help for People with a Prior Drug Felony Conviction | September 2014
Lavanya Mohan and Elizabeth Lower-Basch
One drug felony conviction can result in a lifetime ban on accessing safety net supports. While ex-offenders may apply for assistance for their children, the overall household receives a much lower benefit level. Lifting the ban on SNAP and TANF will reduce material hardship, including food insecurity and hunger, for ex-offenders and their families.
Healthy Communities for Boys and Young Men of Color | June 2014
This brief examines how family and community issues affect boys and young men of color and was prepared for the "Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity," briefing held on June 11 in Washington, D.C.
Employment for Boys and Young Men of Color | June 2014
This brief examines issues with employment that boys and young men of color experience and was prepared for the, "Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity," briefing held on June 11 in Washington, D.C.
Education for Boys and Young Men of Color | June 2014
This brief focuses on education of boys and young men of color and was prepared for the, "Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity," briefing held on June 11 in Washington, DC.
Improving Education Outcomes for African American Youth: Issues for Consideration and Discussion | March 2014
CLASP's Youth Team
For far too long, the academic achievement level of African American students has been unacceptably low, despite an abundance of research on the topic and examples of best practices in communities across the nation. In response to this ongoing crisis, CLASP has developed a memorandum with key recommendations to help President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans develop policies that reduce inequality and ensure African American youth have pathways to postsecondary education and good careers.
The President’s Budget: New Investments, A Vision for Vulnerable Youth | March 2014
CLASP's Youth Team
President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget reflects the Administration’s commitment to helping low-income individuals and vulnerable families access pathways to economic mobility, healthy development, and high quality of life.
This report describes how select stakeholders in five communities (community/systems leaders, youth development/ case management staff, and young black men) articulate and define success for disconnected and off-track young black men; discusses how communities have designed interventions and supportive policies for disconnected and offtrack youth; lays out successful approaches and interventions that attract young men into programs and offers examples that address the needs of young black men; and highlights barriers to employment faced by young black men and the strategies utilized by workforce systems and programs to get them employed.
Empty Seats: Addressing the Problem of Unfair School Discipline For Boys of Color | December 2013
Discipline in schools, when appropriately used, can help to create structure and establish rules for a well-functioning classroom and school. All students should feel safe, and have a positive environment in which to learn. The underlying empirical data show that the harsh discipline policies that have proliferated for the last 30 years, such as out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, school-based arrests, and transfers to alternative education settings, have had the opposite result. These policies have been unevenly applied to boys of color. The educational experience for boys of color is weakened by these unfair discipline polices that impact them more heavily than their white peers.
Improving Supports for Youth of Color Traumatized by Violence | December 2013
Rhonda Bryant and Robert Phillips
Exposure to violence impairs child and youth development, family functioning, community health, and social and emotional well-being.i Children and youth are deeply affected by the toxic stress that violence generates, whether they are direct victims of violence, witnesses of it, or merely residing in a place where it is more likely to occur. There are varieties of negative health and education outcomes linked with children’s exposure to violence: often, they are challenged to succeed in school and are at greater risk for emotional and cognitive deficits and a host of chronic health problems that manifest themselves across the life span.
The Promise of Education: Reversing the High School Dropout Crisis for Boys and Young Men of Color | December 2013
Today’s youth are the future of America. They are the future workforce (teachers, scientists, architects, teachers, scientists, architects, inventors, nurses, and entrepreneurs) that will make us competitive in a global economy. A solid education is a stepping stone to improved overall health and well-being. By staying in school and graduating, youth are better positioned to have career readiness skills, be employed, be self-supporting, and able to contribute to their families, communities and society.
Feel the Heat! The Unrelenting Challenge of Young Black Male Unemployment | October 2013
The situation of high unemployment for Black men is not new. It has persisted for decades, and scholars, sociologists, economists, policy makers, and advocates have brought attention to various aspects of this challenge and put forth solutions. Yet, it is seemingly an intractable situation. In 2012, three years after the end of the recession, the Black male unemployment rate was in the double digits for every age category up to age 65. This was not the case for any other racial group.
Uneven Ground: Examining Systemic Inequities that Block College Preparedness for African American Boys | October 2013
The nation's education system does an uneven job of preparing students for college and careers. While some students attend stellar high schools and participate in honors, advanced placement, and international baccalaureate programs, far too many students are denied the tools they need to make a successful transition after high school. In particular, high-poverty and high-minority high schools generally lack the rigorous education and support elements necessary to prepare students for graduation and matriculation into postsecondary options.
CLASP and the Scholars Network on Black Masculinity collaborated to host a joint working session on May 2-3, 2013. This meeting attracted 32 nationally recognized researchers and policy advocates, representing 25 institutions of higher education, research organizations, national membership organizations, national policy organizations, civil rights groups, and foundations interested in this issue. This paper summarizes the outcomes of the working session.
Taking Aim at Gun Violence: Rebuilding Community Education and Employment Pathways | April 2013
In a single generation, our nation is faced with the prospect of losing over 132,000 Black men and boys to gun violence. Moreover, for every black male who dies from gun violence, there are another 24 others who suffer non-fatal injuries, making the impacts of such violence even greater. In black communities, gun violence is about far more than reforming gun control laws and empowering law enforcement. Gun violence for young black males predominates in communities where residents live in concentrated disadvantage with high rates of unemployment, school dropout, and poverty.
Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity | February 2013
Rhonda Bryant, Linda Harris, and Kisha Bird
Boys and young men of color in the United States face challenges in the areas of education, employment, and health. In the last several years, there has been greater focus on understanding these challenges and identifying potential solutions. While we know more about effective programmatic solutions, we still have much to learn about the systemic barriers that impede the success of males of color. Effecting policy changes in these areas will produce sustainable gains for boys and young men of color. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation commissioned CLASP to conduct a scan of these policy opportunities to inform the development of their Forward Promise Initiative.
Early Education Programs and Children of Immigrants: Learning Each Other's Language | August 2010
Children from immigrant families are the fastest growing group of children in the United States. High-quality child care and early education opportunities will be critical to these children's success in school and in life. Yet the early experiences of children in immigrant families are as diverse and varied as immigrant families themselves. While many immigrant families face numerous barriers to accessing high-quality child care and early education for their young children, these barriers are not insurmountable. The paper discusses state and local solutions to improving access for immigrant families and specific strategies and collaborations among providers, policymakers, and immigrant-serving organizations.
Immigrant Families and Child Care Subsidies: What Federal Law and Guidance Says | February 2010
Hannah Matthews and Deeana Jang
Leading up to Thanksgiving 2016, a rotating group of Louisiana advocates and religious leaders, organized by Stand with Dignity and the New Orleans Worker's Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ), engaged in a 15-day fast to protest Governor Jindal’s refusal to apply for a waiver of time limits that would leave about 31,000 Louisiana residents at risk of losing food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
School Districts Are United to Improve the Achievement of Young Men of Color | June 2015
Improving outcomes for students of color requires changes in federal, state, and school district policies. It also requires changes in practice in school buildings and classrooms. Finally, it requires unearthing and eradicating bias, building bridges to cultural understanding, and empathy. Taking these steps is a major task, but it's essential that we accept the challenge.
The Complex Challenges of Working Out-of-School Youth | June 2015
When teens are exposed to work through summer and year-round employment, internships, and service opportunities, they are far more likely to stay in school, graduate on time, and be consistently employed as adults. Youth who have been employed also earn higher wages in young adulthood. However, despite the long-term advantages of access to early employment, the challenges facing youth ages 16 to 19 who are employed but not in school are often overlooked.
New Report from JP Morgan Chase Highlights the Importance of Summer Youth Employment | April 2015
A report from JPMorgan Chase & Co. details the persistent problem of youth unemployment and potential solutions. Building Skills Through Summer Jobs: Lessons from the Field is part of JP Morgan Chase’s five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative to address the mismatch between employer needs and the skills of job seekers. The report highlights how summer youth employment benefits local communities, economies, families, and youth. It also offers a set of effective program elements and promising practices from the field to strengthen summer youth employment programs and connect them to broader economic and workforce development agendas.
A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child | October 2013
More than 45 million people in the U.S. are uninsured. If every state expanded Medicaid coverage as intended under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), almost 25.4 million would be eligible to enroll in Medicaid. However, the 2013 Supreme Court decision on the ACA has effectively made Medicaid expansion a state decision. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, low-income individuals of color are disproportionately affected by state decisions on whether or not to expand Medicaid.
A Pathway to Citizenship Plays a Positive Role in Children's Development | July 2013
Estimates show that 5.5 million U.S. children live with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent-4.5 million of these are U.S.-born citizen children. While many have written about the experiences of children in immigrant families, little research to date has looked at how parents' unauthorized status affects their children's development. A report from Migration Policy Institute (MPI) suggests that having an unauthorized immigrant parent is associated with negative developmental outcomes, including include lower cognitive skills and emotional well-being in early childhood and higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescence.
Today, both poor and near-poor children typically live in families where someone is working, yet still can’t make ends meet. Nearly 70 percent of poor children and over 80 percent of low-income children live in families with at least one worker. And families’ economic distress comes despite sharply increased work by mothers in their children’s early years. In 1975, fewer than half of all mothers were in the labor force, and only about a third of mothers with a child under age 3, compared to 70 percent of all mothers and more than 60 percent of mothers with a child under age 3 in 2013.
Two-Generational Strategies Can Help Fathers, Too | March 2015
A great deal of the attention to two-generational strategies has focused on custodial parents, most of whom are mothers. But while we know less about how the circumstances of non-custodial parents affect children, there is early evidence from research and practice that if non-custodial parents—who are often young men—do better in their own lives, they can also do better for their children, financially and emotionally.
For young adults, living in poverty makes it harder to access high-quality education and training programs. When they do enroll, they are more likely to have to work excessive hours, prolonging their time to a degree and increasing the risk they won’t complete. In addition, young adults are more likely than older adults to have jobs with low wages and without key elements of quality, such as paid leave or consistent schedules. These characteristics of work can produce an impossible cycle: young people can’t obtain good, steady jobs without schooling—and they can’t manage schooling without steady jobs. This leaves them dangerously vulnerable for the future. Young adults who are also parents experience extremely high poverty rates that affect their future prospects and those of their children.
Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Brown v Board of Education, forbidding school segregation and holding that “separate is inherently unequal.” This landmark case created a significant ripple effect in many ways, including successful litigation that exposed other less blatant forms of institutionalized segregation, striking down barriers such as language exclusion, biased IQ testing, geographic isolation, and school fees.
Parents’ untreated physical and mental health problems affect young children’s development and contribute to disparities in school readiness and children’s later life success. For example, maternal depression, widespread among low-income mothers of young children, is highly treatable, but when untreated, it risks children’s cognitive and emotional development as well as their safety. The Affordable Care Act offers an extraordinary opportunity to contribute not only to young people’s own success but also to their children’s.