October 23, 2017; Washington, D.C. - NPR is launching a new series entitled You, Me and Them: Experiencing Discrimination in America. Based on a survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this multiplatform treatment will delve into personal experiences of discrimination in America from representative samples of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, whites, men, women and LGBTQ adults.
Over the next several weeks NPR's coverage will explore each representative group, analyzing the perception and experience of discrimination as it relates to different areas of life such as housing, policing, healthcare, politics, educational opportunity, and personal harassment.
Starting Tuesday, October 24, NPR's series on discrimination will be available here: You, Me And Them: Experiencing Discrimination In America.
The first portion of NPR's coverage, released Tuesday, explores the African American experience – a demographic which reported an extremely high perception of discrimination across a range of situations. Almost all of the black respondents (92%) said that they felt that discrimination against African Americans exists in America today. About half (51%) said they had personally been called a slur because of their race and around four in 10 (42%) said people acted afraid of them because of their race. In the context of institutional forms of discrimination, half or more of African Americans say they have personally been discriminated against because they are black when interacting with police (50%), when applying to jobs (56%), and when it comes to being paid equally or considered for promotion (57%).
The poll also found that the fear of discrimination can influence life choices such as whether to seek medical care, call the police when in need, and even drive or attend social events. For example, nearly one third (32 %) of 802 black adults surveyed say they have personally experienced racial discrimination when going to the doctor or a health clinic — with 22% avoiding seeking medical care out of fear of discrimination.
NPR is also releasing preliminary results from white Americans. The survey found that 55 percent of white Americans believe that discrimination against whites exists in America today. Of those, 61 percent believe discrimination is based in the prejudice of individual people and 26 percent believe the discrimination is based on laws and government policies. Complete findings on white adults will be released in coming weeks.
Also on Tuesday October 24th, from 12:00-1:00 PM ET, the Two-Way blog on NPR.org and NPR's Facebook Live will live stream an expert-panel discussion from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to look more closely at the poll findings and the state of discrimination against African-Americans in the U.S. today.
The "Discrimination in America" poll was conducted in the first quarter of 2017 and was the largest of its kind, surveying 3,453 people. The data collected is expansive and will be released incrementally within NPR's reporting over the next several weeks. A copy of the first report, examining the experiences and views of 802 African Americans can be obtained here. A final report analyzing and comparing responses from all six groups surveyed will be released in December 2017.
Some Key Findings:
- 92% of African Americans there is discrimination against African Americans in America
- 78% of Latinos believe there is discrimination against Latinos in America
- 75% of Native Americans believe there is discrimination against Native Americans in America
- 61% of Asian Americans believe there is discrimination against Asian Americans in America
- 55% of White Americans believe there is discrimination against White Americans in America
The survey was conducted January 26-April 9, 2017, among a nationally representative, probability-based telephone (cell and landline) sample of 3,453 adults age 18 or older. The survey included nationally representative samples of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, as well as white Americans; men and women, and LGBTQ adults. This report presents the results specifically for a nationally representative probability sample of 802 African-American U.S. adults. Future reports will analyze each other group, and the final report will discuss major highlights from the series.
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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people's lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America's oldest professional training program in public health.
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org