“There is no cure-all, and we’re not going to be able to reach every single person, no matter what we do but we have to give it our best shot.” — Michael Bloomberg / $30 million from Bloomberg + $30 million from Soros + $60 million from NYC = help.
$127 million over 3 years. Education. Unemployment. Incarceration. If our political leaders focused 80% of their energy on just one of these three topics it would make a huge difference. At a time when the PEW Research Center tells us that blacks are facing the worst economic times and states are cutting budgets for social programs, billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg and billionaire George Soros are putting their money into an initiative to help black and Hispanic males. Just last week, the PEW Research Center released a report showing a record gap in wealth between whites and blacks. These stats emerge after an economic downturn started by over valued real estate and bad loan policies led to foreclosures disproportionately effecting black communities across the U.S. That 12% (2,000) of the nation’s high schools produce 50% of the dropouts — and that the problem effects minority kids disproportionately — is also the focus of the Bloomberg/Soros cash. Mentoring, keeping repeat offenders from returning to prison and dropout prevention is the main focus.
PEW’s Research report indicates that the black community is at one of its lowest points since PEW has studied the issue. Unsurprisingly in these bad economic times, the unemployment rate for black males is 17%. George Soros already gives tons of cash for similar programs in other cities. Last week at the NAACP Convention in Los Angeles, the NAACP put focus on problems effecting black males.
On July 9, 2011, the Associated Press put out a piece focusing on how black economic gains had been erased in this latest economic recession. On July 28, the Urban League focused on the lost wealth in the black community. That the NAACP, Mike Bloomberg and George Soros are focusing $127 million on a problem that doesn’t receive much focus will provide an opportunity to see if this type of infusion of cash really works to change the trajectory of people’s lives in a meaningful way.