FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Vazquez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 918-794-3944
Tulsa, Oklahoma — Despite some improvement since the Great Recession, Black and Latino children in Oklahoma are still more likely to live in concentrated poverty according to “Children Living in High Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Eleven percent of children in Oklahoma live in concentrated poverty (neighborhoods where 30 percent or more of the population lives in poverty) down 8 percent from about a decade ago. While the state’s economic recovery has helped reduce poverty, Black and Latino children in Oklahoma are more than four times as likely to live in these high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods than their white peers.
Oklahoma Policy Institute joins the Annie E. Casey Foundation in calling on national, state and local stakeholders to act now to help families lift themselves out of these circumstances. Policies at the state level that can have a significant impact on the lives of children in struggling families include:
- Restoring refundability of Oklahoma’s earned income tax credit (EITC) for working families.
- Expanding access to comprehensive health coverage for all families.
- Lowering barriers to employment for justice involved Oklahomans.
“Children in concentrated poverty often lack access to healthy food, adequate medical care and high-quality schools. Your zip code should not prevent you from providing for your family and giving your children what they need to thrive,” said Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute.
Growing up in a community of concentrated poverty is one of the greatest risks to child development. Children in high-poverty neighborhoods often face greater exposure to environmental hazards, such as poor air quality, and toxins such as lead. Financial hardships and fear of violence can cause chronic stress linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The “Children Living in Concentrated Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods” snapshot underscores the importance of adequately resourced communities to children’s success.
“Ensuring families have access to affordable housing, great schools and quality health care can transform struggling neighborhoods into thriving communities. We can work to reverse the legacy of racial and ethnic oppression through effective reforms,” said Rebecca Fine, Oklahoma Policy Institute KIDS COUNT coordinator.
About Oklahoma Policy Institute
Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy) is a Tulsa-based think-tank that advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy. OK Policy is the Oklahoma affiliate of the KIDS COUNT Network. Learn more at okpolicy.org.
About the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.