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New study: Young people believe we're not post-racial - yet

Get the new report here - http://www.arc.org/content/view/2266/132/

Get the new report here - http://www.arc.org/content/view/2266/132/

The Applied Research Center, an Oakland-based think tank focused on racial justice issues, recently released a new, 40-page study and accompanying video on the racial attitudes of young people, who they say many pollsters and commentators have prematurely labeled as "post-racial."

Here's there pitch on the research:

Although the “Millennial Generation” (born post-1980, ages 18-30) is the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation the U.S. has ever known, it is clear that race continues to play a role in their lives.

“Contrary to widespread labeling of the millennial generation as 'post-racial,' young people actually see a lot of racial problems. Many are concerned that race continues to impact outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it," center President and Executive Director Rinku Sen said. "What's more, the gap in perception between how white millennials and millennials of color see race points to continued racial conflict, demonstrating how important these conversations are."

Study results are derived from a series of 16 focus groups in the Los Angeles area, in which the Applied Research Center - ARC - conducted in-depth discussions on race and racism in society with millennials of diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, educational and ideological backgrounds. Video of some of the focus group participants expressing their perspectives, as well as excerpts from the discussions can be found here at arc.org/millennials.

Don’t Call Them “Post-racial”
Millennials’ Attitudes on Race, Racism and Key Systems in Our Society

Key findings include:

  • Race matters – a large majority of young people assert that race is still a significant factor within various systems, such as criminal justice, education, employment and immigration.
  • Millennials are not monolithic – there are differences in how young people of different races and ethnicities view the extent and continued significance of racism in various systems of society.
  • Racism is often defined in interpersonal terms – though most young people of color have little problem labeling an entire system as racist.


"Young people of color, and particularly those from low-income backgrounds, are typically underrepresented in traditional national surveys and polls. We conducted four in-depth focus groups each with African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latino and white millennials, so the qualitative data in this study is particularly rich," ARC Research Director Dominique Apollon said. "The report really elevates the voices of the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation's history, and we should be asking them more, not less about the racial disparities that continue to impact their lives and communities."

The Oakland Local team - made up of many millenials - are going to gobble up this report and share more info. Meanwhile you can download it yourself here.

About Susan Mernit

Susan Mernit is the co-founder of Oakland Local. She is also a circuit rider for The Community Information Challenge, a program of The John S and James L Knight Foundation, a popular speaker and facilitator, and a consultant to media, non-profit and community organizations. Susan lives in North Oakland with a rescue dog named Cazzie, a little dog named Violet, a fat grey cat named Gracie, a very cool housemate, and a yard in serious need of soil remediation. She is an aspiring gardener, a long-time blogger & entrepreneur, and a recovering journalist who's found home in Oakland.