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March 12, 2014
COLUMBUS, OH – With the help of The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy (ICYPF) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management has launched today a new online data and analysis tool -- diversitydatakids.org --providing unprecedented insight into well-being and equity among the ever more diverse child population in the United States.
The website and its online tools were created with generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and will help users pinpoint inequities that exist among children of varying racial and ethnic groups that threaten well-being. The website also allows users to create customized profiles, rankings and maps of childhood well-being in their own communities, translating demographic data into more visual and understandable formats. Users can zoom from a national and statewide perspective, to smaller levels of geography, including individual metropolitan areas, school districts and, in some cases, neighborhoods. Most important, the site makes available to the public for the first time unique region-specific data that highlight known structural factors that research has shown to catalyze racial and ethnic disparities. “The U.S. child population is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, but unfortunately not all children have the same opportunities for healthy development,” said Dolores Acevado-Garcia, Director of ICYPF and principal investigator of diversitydatakids.org. “We hope that our data will equip users to become more informed advocates for all children and especially for vulnerable children.”
Diversitydatakids.org is the largest opportunity mapping tool the Kirwan Institute has helped to produce since its founding in 2003. Research staff and graduate students at the Kirwan Institute invested hundreds of hours in the project, contacting government departments in 44 states to collect, clean, analyze and map the data that was used to create the 100 Metropolitan Area child opportunity maps. “The launch of the diversitydatakids.org website reflects years of hard work and a close partnership between ICYPF and the Kirwan Institute,” said Sharon Davies, Executive Director of the KirwanInstitute. “This unprecedented mapping project was built using the highest-quality data currently available on the child population in the United States, making visible the experiences of children in our communities, which continue to vary tremendously by race and ethnicity, often in ways that are avoidable.” The site features two fact sheets that illustrate how the region-specific data can be used to promote community discussions about enhancing opportunity for children. “Our hope is that the project will be a toolkit for other researchers, policymakers, and advocates to promote positive change that will improve the lives of our children,” Davies said. For more information, please visit diversitydatakids.orgor www.kirwaninstitute.osu.edu.
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity is an interdisciplinary engaged research institute located at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The Kirwan Institute works to deepen public understanding of the causes of and solutions to racial and ethnic disparities, and to bring about a society where all people have the opportunity to succeed. Its research and staff expertise are shared through an international network of colleagues and partners including researchers, social justice advocates, philanthropic organizations, policymakers and community leaders.