A new initiative will focus on developing adult-friendly pathways at predominantly and historically Black community colleges to increase their completion rates. Complete College America, an advocacy organization focused on closing equity gaps in graduation rates, recently launched a new initiative to boost college completion for adult learners at predominantly and historically Black community colleges. The two-year project will work with a cohort of 25 to 30 institutions to assess how they serve adult students of color and to develop well-designed pathways to credentials that increase their earnings. The initiative seeks to address long-standing inequities and obstacles faced by adult learners of color on their paths to graduation, amid a pandemic that highlighted the distinct role of community colleges in meeting local workforce needs. It also comes at a time of renewed urgency to address the social and economic inequities highlighted during the national racial reckoning that began in summer after the police killing of George Floyd. Cynthia Anthony, president of Lawson State Community College, a historically Black institution in Alabama, said adult students are highly motivated but can have long, winding roads to earning degrees because of the extra work and family responsibilities they have in their lives.
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Skip to content. Roughly 37 million people, identify themselves as Black or African American in the United States. From trailblazing pioneers like George Washington Carver and Dorothy Height to modern-day heroes like Anita Hill and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Black community has made enormous contributions to the ongoing fight for social, racial, and economic justice.
Despite these efforts, true social justice among the Black community will remain incomplete until mental health disparities among this group are addressed. Mental health is an essential part of overall physical health and satisfaction.
The Black community suffers from an increased rate of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. The increased incidence of psychological difficulties in the Black community is related to the lack of access to appropriate and culturally responsive mental health care, prejudice and racism inherent in the daily environment of Black individuals, and historical trauma enacted on the Black community by the medical field.
Moreover, given that the Black community exists at the intersection of racism, classism, and health inequity, their mental health needs are often exacerbated and mostly unfulfilled. Issues related to economic insecurity, and the associated experiences, such as violence and criminal injustice, further serve to compound the mental health disparities in the Black population.
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Additionally, Black emerging adults ages also experience higher rates of mental health problems and lower rates of mental health service utilization compared to White emerging adults, and older Black adults. These sobering statistics suggest that despite efforts to reduce disparities among race and class in the US, inequalities are increasing.
Black adult community
However, further research is required to clarify these findings and to understand the factors associated with lower utilization of mental health care among the Black community. Lack of trust in the medical system due to historical abuses of Black people in the guise of health care, less access to adequate insurance, culturally responsive mental health providers, financial burden, and past history with discrimination in the mental health system.
Also, a fear that these experiences will be repeated is all suggested by research as factors in explaining lower utilization of mental health care among the Black community. It is clear that systematic barriers disproportionately impact mental health in the Black community. Research shows that exposure to violence, incarceration, and involvement in the foster care system can increase the chances of developing a mental illness.
Consequently, the Black community, in particular, is at significantly increased risk of developing a mental health issue due to historical, economic, social, political influences that systemically expose the Black community to factors known to be damaging to psychological and physical health. Research consistently shows that these disparities are not a new phenomenon and have been present for generations. Historically, the Black community was and continues to be disadvantaged in mental health through subjection to trauma through enslavement, oppression, colonialism, racism, and segregation.
A growing body of research suggests that traumatic experiences can cause profound biological changes in the person experiencing the traumatic event. Cutting edge researchers are also beginning to understand how these physiological changes are genetically encoded and passed down to future generations. Among those who are unsure or do not plan to get vaccinated against COVID 50 percenttop reasons cited include: 1.
Black women are more likely than Black men to cite concerns about the speed of vaccine development 71 percent vs. Black adults lack confidence in key cts of the COVID vaccine development and distribution process 2.
A majority of US Black adults believe vaccination is the best protection against flu and have received or plan to get a flu vaccine. Among those who are unsure or do not plan to get a flu vaccine, top reasons cited include: 1.
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A majority 61 percent of Black adults who are at higher risk for flu-related complications said they have already received or plan to get a flu vaccine this season 3. Older Black adults are particularly trusting of healthcare professionals and governmental agencies.
Antiviral Medication to Mitigate Flu Symptoms Two-thirds 66 percent of Black adults would take antiviral medication to mitigate severe flu symptoms if prescribed by a healthcare professional.
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These survey findings underscore the need to address health disparities and educate vulnerable populations at increased risk. It is critical to address misconceptions about COVID and flu vaccine safety and effectiveness among Black communities and help build trust in the US healthcare system, in particular among younger age groups.
Healthcare professionals and leaders should emphasize the following:. This NFID-sponsored survey was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Interviews for this survey were conducted between December 10 and 21,with Black adults age 18 years and older representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Panel members were randomly drawn from AmeriSpeak, and 1, completed the survey-1, via the web and via telephone.
Interviews were conducted in English. The final stage completion rate is The margin of sampling error may be higher for subgroups.