NEW YORK (June 7, 2011) – Applied Research Center, the nation’s leading think tank on racial justice, today releases a 40-page study and accompanying video (http://arc.org/millennials/) on the racial attitudes of young people, whom many pollsters and commentators have prematurely labeled as “post-racial.”
Although the “Millennial Generation” (born post-1980, ages 18-30) is the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation the US has ever known, it is clear that race continues to play a role in their lives.
“Contrary to widespread labeling of the millennial generation as ‘post-racial,’ young people actually see a lot of racial problems. Many are concerned that race continues to impact outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it,” said ARC President & Executive Director Rinku Sen. “What’s more, the gap in perception between how white millennials and millennials of color see race points to continued racial conflict, demonstrating how important these conversations are.”
Study results are derived from a series of 16 focus groups in the Los Angeles area, in which ARC conducted in-depth discussions on race and racism in society with millennials of diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, educational, and ideological backgrounds. Video of some of the focus group participants expressing their perspectives, as well as excerpts from the discussions can be found here: http://arc.org/millennials/
Don’t Call Them “Post-racial” Millennials’ Attitudes on Race, Racism, and Key Systems in Our Society
• Race matters – a large majority of young people assert that race is still a significant factor within various systems, such as criminal justice, education, employment, and immigration.
• Millennials are not monolithic – there are differences in how young people of different races and ethnicities view the extent and continued significance of racism in various systems of society.
• Racism is often defined in interpersonal terms – though most young people of color have little problem labeling an entire system as racist.
“Young people of color, and particularly those from low-income backgrounds, are typically underrepresented in traditional national surveys and polls,” said ARC Research Director Dominique Apollon. “We conducted four in-depth focus groups each with African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latino, and white millennials, so the qualitative data in this study is particularly rich.”
The report really elevates the voices of the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation’s history, and we should be asking them more, not less about the racial disparities that continue to impact their lives and communitiesm,” he added.
The Applied Research Center is a racial justice think tank using media, research, and activism to promote solutions. ARC is the publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues.
To coincide with the release of the Millennials study, Colorlines.com is publishing a multi-part series (http://colorlines.com/millennials) that includes essays, video, and an investigation on the innovative groups who are working with youth to get past simply looking at individual acts of racism.
“Young people are going to lead the country out of today’s mess. We need to truly understand how racism shows up in their lives, rather than fantasize about them being post-racial,” said Colorlines.com Editorial Director Kai Wright.
The release is below with key findings and a link to “Don’t Call Them ‘Post-Racial'” report page (http://arc.org/millennials/) which includes an executive summary, full report, VIDEO of some of the focus group participants expressing their perspectives, and a series of quotes from young folks.
Many other studies have looked at only one racial group compared to whites, or left out Asian Americans. Other were restricted to surveys (no focus groups, or not as many), and typically failed to conduct as in-depth inquiries about the intersection of race with key systems in society. Our report, on the other hand digs into the issues in depth.
It’s a great, easy read – packed with vivid graphics, extensive quotes. For example, on race & class: “There’s no way to say, ‘A + B = C’… It’s, like, super-nasty complicated. And that’s why we keep coming back to this ‘Is it race, is it class? What is it?’ It’s both,” said Pilar, 23, a Latina graduate student.
For more information or to interview ARC Research Director Dominique Apollon (Oakland, CA) or ARC President and Executive Director Rinku Sen (NYC), please contact Communications Manager Rebekah Spicuglia at [email protected] or (415) 290-2970.