Hard Facts, Race and Poverty in the Nine County Greater Rochester Region

CCSI Rochester-based staff and the Board of Directors had the opportunity to participate in a presentation and thought-provoking discussion of the report “Hard Facts, Race and Poverty in the Nine County Greater Rochester Region” led by Ed Doherty, the principal author and researcher. This report is the 3rd in a series of reports released by ACT Rochester that speak to poverty in the region.

The findings in “Hard Facts” detail the harsh reality of the extent of poverty in Rochester (particularly eye-opening as compared to comparably sized cities) as well as the gaps between racial and ethnic groups on poverty-related, educational and other well-being indicators. Not only are there disparities between racial and ethnic groups in the Rochester area itself, but Rochester African American and Latino populations have less favorable rates on key indicators than African American and Latino populations in NYS as a whole and in the US.

Our discussion and questions were primarily – Why is this so? How did we get here? and What can we do to change this? We know there are no immediate solutions to this complex and pervasive issue in our community. But we all came away from the discussion with an awareness of these startling facts, the extent of disparities in our community, the urgency of the situation and some implications for our work moving forward. Many community efforts are now being focused on poverty, especially those under the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Along with working in partnership with initiatives, now that we all have the “hard facts” on poverty AND disparities, we need to pay close attention in our programs and contracted services and work with others to using a cultural lens as we move towards solutions so as not to inadvertently perpetuate the disparities.  

Click here to access the Act Rochester reports: