The faces of America’s children are changing and many believe that the still white majority population and the political leaders do not see themselves in these new faces. By 2042, most Americans will be people of color. Already, California, Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico, and DC have more people of color than whites. And today, nearly half of all children are kids of color. If they don't succeed, the nation won't succeed.
While policies are looking at slashing Medicaid and cutting education budgets, the future generations of Americans are paying the price. There was a time not that long ago when we listened to the voices of tomorrow and invested in our national future. The GI Bill, affirmative action, and strong unions all helped the “Greatest Generation” establish a potent and stable middle class—and gave their children tangible hope for the future. But we aren't doing that any more. Too many who have achieved success for themselves now want to pull up the ladder behind them.
People of color are disproportionately saddled with high poverty rates, failing schools, poor health, and under-invested communities. But white families that rely on the public education system struggle with these nationwide school budget squeezes. White college students are graduating with six figure debt. White workers who need public transit to get to their jobs are hurt by the lack of forward thinking investment. And white entrepreneurs are having to spend money giving new hires the job skills a strong public school system should offer. It's no way to run a country.
This study implies the need to promote equity—just and fair inclusion. The next generation of Americans needs to be supported and encouraged, regardless of their skin color. Economists and community leaders are now seeing this idea of equity is no longer a moral battle. It will become imperative in order for America to succeed on an economic level.
PolicyLink, an American research institute which works to advance social and economic equity within the United States has released their new report titled Prosperity 2050. The report shows how, over the next 30 years, the face of America will be changing.
PolicyLink’s CEO and founder, Angela Glover Blackwell, said that the success and the future of the United States will depend on the success of people of color. She believes that equitable policies, in light of this new information, will become an economic imperative more so than a moral one. The current discrepancies of social status and wealth between the different demographics could be harmful to the future of the United States.
As a nation, we can see our future and it is captured in the hopes and dreams of a 5-year-old Latina girl and a 7-year-old African American boy. Our success depends on theirs.
PolicyLink was founded in 1999 and works on the mission of Lifting Up What Works. They believe that those people that are facing the hardest challenges, mainly the low-income and colored communities, are the most important in finding and creating solutions. In areas such as jobs, public schools, and affordable housing, PolicyLink believes that equity must be behind all federal, state, and local policies.