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

Video: RAND Congressional Briefing Series


M. Rebecca Kilburn


RAND Child Policy


Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities

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.

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