After month-long church and community discussions addressing disparities faced by Colorado’s black residents, the Colorado Black Round Table is convening its “gaining ground” summit this weekend to chart a course toward progress.
This in response to the Rocky Mountain PBS I-News Losing Ground report, published last year, which found that Colorado’s largest minority groups, Latinos and blacks, lag significantly behind their white counterparts on important measures of social progress. The report studied six decades of data pertaining to family income, poverty, home ownership and high school and college graduation rates.
In many categories, the I-News investigation found, the gaps have grown significantly broader since the decades surrounding the Civil Rights Movement.
Earlier this year, the round table released its report entitled, "Gaining Ground in Colorado’s African American Communities: A report by and for African American Citizens and Organizations on Strengthening and Building Capacity in our Communities.”
The weekend events begin tonight with a reception that will recognize black elected officials, including a special salute for former State Sen. Regis Groff. Saturday’s day-long working events are at Manual High School, with a reception and dinner to follow at Denver’s Marriott City Center.
“We recognize that there are still significant challenges when it comes to addressing institutional racism and other structural barriers that have contributed to the backward slide” documented inLosing Ground, said Dr. Sharon Bailey, who authored the community response report. “However, we also understand that there are opportunities for us to take action as individuals and organizations to improve conditions in our communities.
“We must critically consider what we must do from here and what happens if we do nothing. What a tragedy and a travesty it would be if we do not take on these new challenges for the collective betterment of our communities and our state."