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Some Of The Worst Racial Disparities Between Blacks & Whites Exist In Midwest, Report Says

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A new report finds that all 12 Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) have obvious racial disparities between its black and white populations.

Wisconsin has some of the worst disparities between black and white people in the country. That's according to a new report that outlines the causes of these disparities — and possible solutions.

But it's not just Wisconsin. All 12 states in the Midwest — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin — have obvious racial disparities between its black and white populations, according to the report. The report compares Midwestern states to other parts of the country in areas like education, employment, health, and homeownership.

The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a national think tank based in Madison, contributed to the report. The Iowa Policy ProjectPolicy Matters Ohio and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) were also part of the team.

READ: Wisconsin's Unemployment Disparity Between Blacks & Whites Is Worst In The United States

"There are deep roots to the structure of inequality in the Midwest. They're historical. They relate to systemic, public and private action that has resulted in where we are today," COWS Associate Director Laura Dresser says.

She explains that when thinking with a historical perspective on racism in the U.S., most people often think about the South. But this report dissolves the misconception that racism and segregation is a Southern issue.

So, why does the Midwest have such stark inequalities? To understand, author of the report Colin Gordon says we have to look at history:

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WUWM Race & Ethnicity Reporter Teran Powell speaking with the report's lead author, Colin Gordon, about how the Midwest still has the worst racial disparities compared to the rest of the country. He works as a research consultant with the Iowa Policy Project and is a professor of history at the University of Iowa.

Do you have a question about race in Milwaukee that you'd like WUWM's Teran Powell to explore? Submit it below.

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In 2018, Teran became WUWM's Race & Ethnicity Reporter. She joined WUWM in the fall of 2017 as the station’s very first Eric Von Fellow.