Report: African-American children poverty stricken in Cincinnati

New report shows troubling disparities (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A city report revealed that 74 percent of African-American children under the age of six are living in poverty in Cincinnati.

This is just one of many troubling statistics on race and economic inequality published in a new port from the Greater Cincinnati Urban League.

It's called the "State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities" and examines race-based disparities in education, the economy, the criminal justice system, health and healthcare, housing, income, employment unemployment, poverty and education.

"In each of these categories, we found that there are significant disparities between African American and whites in the region and city," said Donny Jones Baker, the President and CEO of Urban League Greater Southwestern Ohio.

Written by some of the area's leading experts, it includes a call to action that invites the larger community to get involved to help create more opportunities for all citizens.

"I feel that education is one thing that can help," said Dr. O'Dell Owens, president of Cincinnati State. Dr. O'Dell Owens was one of many who attended Monday's press conference regarding the findings of the new report. "Three out of four black children are living in poverty, how are we going to get them out of that? There are two ways to get them out of that --- jobs and education."

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley also spoke at the Urban League press conference about what needs to be done to fix these disparities. "This report should make us uncomfortable for a lot of reasons," Mayor Cranley said. "To me it's not a poverty issue, it's about building and expanding a middle class.  Our goal is to reduce the poverty rate in Cincinnati by 5% over the next four years which I believe we can do. 5% is a good start and it will improve the lives of five thousand human beings in our region."

One of the shocking statistics listed in the Urban League's publication shows that of the 14,000 families living in poverty in Cincinnati from 2005-2009, 76% of them were African-American.

Asia Jordan is just one of the people, one of the names that make up this staggering number.

"Pretty much just trying to survive, that's the biggest obstacle," Asia Jordan told us Monday. Despite working two jobs, her struggle with poverty is still an ongoing one. "I see it every day. I'm living it every day right now."

But to make a better life for her and her young daughter, she's enrolled herself in programs at Urban League where she receives employment services, financial education and coaching along with access to public benefits. "I gained life skills that I'm utilizing now and that I will be able to utilize my whole entire life," Jordan explained.

When asked what motivates her to go the extra mile, she said she doesn't want to be another number, another statistic in poverty levels among African-Americans.

"I can't give up, that's the hardest part about it because if I give up then I'm giving up on my daughter so that's not an option." Her story, she says, is one of overcoming the odds by turning adversity into achievement.

Click here if you would like to view "The State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities" in its entirety.

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