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Posted on 05-19-2011
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Economic inequities continue to affect youth


How can these young people "win the future" considering these educational and employment obstacles? / ¿Cómo podrán estos jóvenes "ganar el futuro", teniendo en cuenta estos obstáculos educativos y de empleo?
Photo: ESFP
By Eduardo Garcia, Folayemi Agbede

upward mobility through education.
The obstacles are even worse for youth whose highest degree is a high school diploma. Unemployment for African-American high school graduates under the age of 25 and not enrolled in college was 31.8 percent. Latino graduates were next with 22.8 percent in overall unemployment, compared to their white counterparts, at 20.3 percent. As the nation celebrates steadied improvement in the national unemployment rate, teens of color who want to join the labor force are still facing staggering barriers to entry.
This is a bleak snapshot of some of the young people we are expecting to carry our country into its future—especially since youth of color are outpacing all others in growth. How can these young people "win the future" considering these educational and employment obstacles?
Now more than ever before it is important to invest in newer generations of Americans so that they too have the opportunity to influence public policies that will directly affect their futures and those of the generations to follow. Through a commitment to advancing and protecting immigrant rights and equality of identity in addition to promoting legislative, political, and civic engagement, we can all work directly with and for young people to build their power. By mobilizing youth and youth-impacting issues, we can secure victories that improve communities at the local, state, and national levels.
Today young people of color remain vulnerable to the structural exclusions that dramatically circumscribe their ability to learn, work, compete, and innovate. The fact that even a college degree is unable to shield youth of color from the future-crippling consequences of the economic downturn should speak to the role that policymakers, advocates, and researchers must have in promoting solutions that deliver equitable outcomes. It should also signal to the larger American community as it continues to ...
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