In our inaugural Survey of the South, we talked to 1,800 individuals (600 Black respondents, Latino respondents, and white respondents) across 13 Southern states about race, class, and equity. We found clear racial divides when it comes to perceptions of the economy and personal financial situations, as well as fundamentally different views on the causes of socio-economic discrepancies in America.
Despite the widely divergent views expressed across racial groups in the South, we learned that there are shared cultural experiences and some common ground on the value of diversity and equal opportunity. There is evidence that ongoing efforts to establish equity as a shared goal and to educate Southerners about it have powerful potential.
Driven by what we heard and learned in this survey, we launched a series of initiatives to:
- Cultivate courageous leaders who are committed to realizing an inclusive vision for a new South;
- Champion transformative policies to reverse the enduring harms of America’s Jim Crow era past for those who continue to experience them today; and
- Change narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism in order to shift people’s attitudes & behaviors.