While this year’s annual State of Black America report from the National Urban League focuses as usual on areas of progress (education, healthcare and economic well-being) and regress (criminal justice) over the past year, the report took the unusual step of warning that the organization now has a new priority: protecting areas of progress from retrenchment during the Trump years.
“During the Obama era, the economy added 15 million new jobs, the black unemployment rate dropped and the high school graduation rate for African Americans soared,” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said in the report. “Now that progress, and much more, is threatened…The National Urban League is resolute; we will protect our progress.”
In the report, called “Protect Our Progress,” the Urban League suggested that the nation should invest in a “Main Street Marshall Plan” that would ensure that the gains made by black Americans during the Obama administration aren’t lost. The plan includes expanding pre-K, increasing the number of college students receiving Pell grants, increasing the minimum wage and summer youth employment programs, and incentivizing more doctors to accept Medicaid.
But amidst a climate where the current administration is looking to make cuts in many of these areas — as the Urban League acknowledges in the report — it would be daunting to initiate a national movement to mobilize the Urban League’s Main Street Marshall Plan.
Read more at NPR.