DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - In downtown Dallas, Chris Bolanos and Beonka Robinson stood out -- and they knew it. The two co-workers, both in their mid-20s, are employed with a national customer service firm. They are minority women seeking professional promotion and growth.
But based on a recently released report, Dallas residents like Bolanos and Robinson earn less and struggle more economically.
"It doesn't surprise me," Bolanos said. "As a country, it's what we've become."
The Center for Public Policy Priorities' commissioned report by the Communities Foundation of Texas, entitled 'Dallas Equal Opportunity Assessment,' examined the income, housing patterns, education and other livability issues for residents in Dallas County.
"For a person of color to make the same as a white person with a Bachelor's degree, they need to have a post-graduate degree," Frances Deviney, report presenter and CPPP COO said before a standing room audience, which included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Deviney's presentation, complete with graphs, maps and data, unveiled the Dallas area's color conflict: the economics of black, white and brown. In Dallas County, the data indicates that minorities earn substantially less than whites. Here is the median income breakdown by race and ethnicity.
Deviney even broke the income data down into dollars and cents. "For every dollar a white person earns in Dallas, blacks earn 54 cents," Deviney said. "Hispanics earn 58 cents."
"I don't think people realize the magnitude and extent of the range of issues that Dallas is facing," added Sarah Cotton Nelson, philanthropy chief with the Communities Foundation of Texas, "and we have the possibility to change, when you realize what needs to be worked on."
Robinson, who is African American, was shown a copy of the report during a lunch break. The 28-year-old Illinois native said that the report does not outline the reasons for the income disparity. "I think different races accept different things," she said. "It's not that they think they are worthless. They have to make a living. I'm not surprised by this information."
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