Critical Turning Point
On September 20, 2016, Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). Reminiscent of other police-involved shootings like that of Jonathan Ferrell in 2013, the community’s frustration had escalated to a boiling point. In 2016, peaceful protests and civil unrest marked a critical turning point for the city of Charlotte, echoing an outcry that was present in other communities across the United States. The shooting of Mr. Scott, and the demonstrations that followed, heightened an awareness of the existing racial and ethnic disparities in Black and Brown communities related to policing, economic and social opportunities, housing, employment, and health.
The ReCAST grant was awarded to Mecklenburg County Public Health based on these events and existing disparities.
COMPARISONS OF VARIOUS MECKLENBURG MAPS POINT TO DIFFERENCES IN INDICATORS THAT REFLECT GAPS IN EQUITY BASED ON ZIP CODES
Considering the Data
- Historically, data reveals that the unemployment rate for Blacks and Hispanics in the region is more than twice that of Whites1
- Differences also exist in education where 40% of Blacks and 67% of Hispanics have no more than a high school diploma compared to only 17% of Whites1
- Statistical differences in wealth are staggering: Blacks and Hispanics are three-times more likely to live in poverty than Whites1, 2
- The poverty rate for Black and Hispanic children is almost eight times higher than that of White children1
- Data also reveals mortality rates may correlate to race when considering health and health disparity indicators. For example, the average age of death is 82.2 years for White residents compared to 77.1 years for Black residents3
1 NC Poverty Research Fund (2016). Economic Hardship, Racialized Concentrated Poverty, and the Challenges of Low-Wage Work: Charlotte, North Carolina: https://www2.law.unc.edu/documents/poverty/publications/charlottepovertyreport_final.pdf
2 Ely Portillo, “Five Maps That Show Stark Health Disparities in Mecklenburg County,” UNC Charlotte Urban Institute (2019): https://ui.uncc.edu/story/five-maps-show-stark-health-disparities-mecklenburg-county
3 2019 Mecklenburg County Community Health Assessment, Mecklenburg County Public Health: https://www.mecknc.gov/HealthDepartment/HealthStatistics/Documents/Mecklenburg%20CHA%202019.pdf