National Institute on Aging

Boston College Reports Address How Race Impacts Economic Opportunity and Mobility

The School of Social Work at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, has published two new reports resulting from research related to The Opportunity Project, launched by the Obama administration in 2016. The project was designed to provide data to civic and community leaders on topics such as job creation, housing, transportation and education.

The first report, Race and Income Equity in Childcare: Examining Time, Costs, and Parental Work Hours, found that low-income African Americans had travel times to their childcare facility that were about twice the time for low-income White families. African American families were more likely than White families to require childcare in nontraditional hours, which can be more expensive.

The second report on transportation issues assesses how essential features such as time, cost, and distance are distributed among groups in the U.S., with particular attention to how transportation provides advantages to some and constrains others, especially across race/ethnicity, income and combinations thereof. The authors found that “decisions about the type, time spent on, and money used for transportation affect flexibility and quality of life.”

David Takeuchi, professor and associate dean for research at the Boston College School of Social Work, stated that “access to data is very much an issue of civil rights. It will be important for those of us engaged in finding solutions to the world’s social ills to recognize this reality, and to advocate for the more equitable, and inclusive, use of data.”


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