Local News

Urban League Releases Report On State Of Black Triangle

Posted May 27, 2003 4:14 a.m. EDT

— According to a new report, blacks in the Triangle are lagging in some quality-of-life areas.

The Triangle Urban League on Tuesday issued its first report on the state of the black Triangle.

The report focuses on four areas, including access to affordable health care and closing the achievement gap between black and white students.

The report also addresses economic empowerment and technology.

Some proposals include encouraging companies to invest in schools and creating a fund in Research Triangle Park to help start black businesses.

"We thought the first report was particularly important to give us some benchmarks," said Keith Sutton of the Triangle Urban League. "Now that we know where we are, we can build on that each year."

The report proposes a Health Opportunity Trust Fund, with business contributions and tax dollars to help black families pay for basic health care and insurance.

In education, the report suggests that companies invest money, equipment and technology in schools as a way to close the achievement gap between black and white students. That was a proposal that Wake County Schools Superintendent Bill McNeal was glad to hear.

"It is the right thing to focus on because it is an issue," McNeal said, "and we need to ensure that there is academic excellence for all."

The report also calls on the historically black colleges in the area to work more closely with the big schools like the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State and Duke.

"They have far more resources," said Dr. Lenneal Henderson, who authored the study. "They have many, many resources -- not just money, but also networks, both internationally and domestically."