Congressional Briefing - August 10, 2009

Reparable Harm: Assessing Disparities Faced by Boys and Men of Color in California

young men of color


M. Rebecca Kilburn


Monday, August 10, 2009


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Congressional Meeting Room North (268 Capitol Visitor Center)
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

View the Video

Listen to the Audio

About the Program

There is little disagreement that racial and ethnic disparities exist and have persisted over time. But how great are those disparities and how have they diminished opportunities for children of color over time? For policymakers to close the gaps, they need a common understanding of where the biggest challenges are and how to address them. In recognition that many of these inequities are large for boys and men of color, RAND recently released a study funded by The California Endowment titled Reparable Harm: Assessing and Addressing Disparities Faced by Boys and Men of Color in California.

This assessment compares how well African-American and Latino boys are faring relative to their white peers on a number of outcome indicators in the areas of health, education, public safety, and socioeconomic characteristics. The study finds the following:

  • There are large disparities for boys and men of color in California (and in some cases nationwide) across the four broad outcome domains.
  • Within each domain, some outcome indicators show substantially more disadvantage than others.
  • The areas of greatest disparities are somewhat different for Latino versus African-American boys.
  • The disparities are not immutable – a portfolio of approaches at the policy, community, and individual levels can complement and strengthen each other, reducing relative disadvantage.

About the Speaker

M. Rebecca Kilburn is a senior economist at RAND, and her research generally focuses on issues related to the well-being of children and families. She has been part of the RAND team that has undertaken a decade-long program of research analyzing the costs and benefits of children's programs, beginning with Investing in Our Children, RAND's pathbreaking 1998 report that conducted some of the original cost-benefit analysis of early childhood interventions. She has also conducted numerous studies that evaluate the investments that parents and society make in children in such areas as preschool and home visiting. Ms. Kilburn is the director of the Promising Practices Network (PPN), a Web site that presents evidence-based information on improving outcomes for children and families. She is coauthor (with Lois Davis and Dana Schultz) of Reparable Harm. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

RAND Office of Congressional Relations

For 60 years, RAND has provided policymakers with independent, objective research and analysis on key national security, domestic and international issues. RAND work helps members of Congress and their staffs make better-informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges. The Office of Congressional Relations offers a number of products and services to educate, inform, and facilitate congressional policymakers' access to RAND work, including coordinating congressional testimony by RAND experts, organizing briefings and meetings, synthesizing RAND work into topical e-newsletters and providing reports and publications to congressional offices. For more information, visit the Office of Congressional Relations webpage, contact or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.

View calendar of upcoming and recent Congressional briefings

View upcoming and recent Congressional briefings by topic

Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.