904Ward CEO on advancing equality: We need solutions ‘that are not Band-Aids’

Jacksonville group releases ‘race in retrospect’ study, plans to release additional studies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville group aiming to advance racial equity in Duval County released 75 years of research Friday that shows more African Americans are getting help from local resources but many remain in poverty.

The group, 904ward, said it won’t be their last report. It will be one in an eight-part series.

“It’s time for us to take some action to make some systemic changes,” said Kimberly Allen, CEO of 904ward.

The group, with the help of the Community Foundation, put together eight retrospectives to address the longstanding gaps in communities.

“Have we improved those communities as a whole? And I think on an individual level I would say, absolutely, we have. But on a systemic level, we have not,” Allen said.

The group’s report highlighted data of people living in poverty in Duval County during 2000, 2010 and 2018. In 2018, the number of Black people living in poverty, according to the report, was 65,422. That declined from 72,237 in 2010, but the 2018 total still remained the higher than the white population (61,622), Asian population (4,654) and the Hispanic/Latino population (15,824).

(Report from 904ward below)

The data shows that in 2018, Black people made up less than 50% of the city’s population, and that they represented nearly 60% of all people living in poverty.

The group asked respondents the question: Do you agree that Black people and white people receive equal treatment from the police? Of the data, 97% of Black respondents either somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed. A total of 52% of white respondents either somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Because the numbers reflect the community, News4Jax setup a focus group via Zoom. Not long after it began, some participants began hollering and using racial slurs. The meeting had to be ended abruptly.

Allen says you can drive through Jacksonville and see the disparities.

“If we really are serious about making Jacksonville an equitable city where everybody thrives regardless of their race, then we have to be willing to come to the table with solutions that are not Band-Aids, but really, we might have to open up some old wounds in order to heal properly from the inside out,” Allen said.

904Ward says it’s planning to release reports addressing more topics.

Here’s a look at the report released Friday:

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