Recent Articles

U of M study: Race matters most in determining who breathes bad air

The Twin Cities earn yet another racial disparities distinction

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer

In April, researchers at the University of Minnesota released a study showing that people of color in the U.S. typically breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted compared to their White counterparts. The study concluded that race and income are major contributing factors in how much polluted air is breathed, but that race matters more than income. Using satellite observations, data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and maps of land uses, the research team was able to compare the geographic data with Census figures to determine socioeconomic disparities in air pollution exposure. The study was national in scope and provided information on air pollution on a nationwide basis, broken down to show comparisons between urban and rural areas as well by city, county, and state. The pollutant the study tracked was nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the main pollutants targeted by the EPA, which considers it one of the most significant threats to air quality. Continue Reading →

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Black colleges may be better option for Black students

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

A new United Negro College Fund (UNCF) study finds that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) often outperform non-HBCUs in educating Black students. The study, “Serving Students and the Public Good: HBCUs and the Washington Monthly College Rankings,” was released in October by the UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Based on the 2012 Washington Monthly college rankings, it found that 83 percent of HBCUs were above the median among 249 liberal arts colleges and 50 percent above the median for graduating students from low-income families. It also points out:

• HBCUs “consistently rank in the top 50 percent” of schools in both overall rankings and social mobility ranking. • HBCUs seem to be more successful in graduating students from “disadvantaged backgrounds…and tend to perform at an above-average level and significantly better than when they are evaluated strictly on the basis of actual graduation rates.”

• HBCUs “have a long-standing commitment to provide educational access to all students.”

College rankings, such as in the U.S. News and World Report, are commonly used by school officials to highlight the institution’s many features to attract students. Continue Reading →

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