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Govt. pays $200,000 for new study into black males

Resource type: News

Bermuda Sun |

Government has committed $200,000 to pay for a study to look at the “attainment gaps between young black and white men in Bermuda.” The full cost of the study is $400,000, but the U.S. based Atlantic Philanthropies is paying for half of it. Former Premier Alex Scott had commissioned a study a couple of years ago but this afternoon Tuesday Premier Ewart Brown described that as a “mini study” saying the subject needed to be explored in more detail. He’s now hired a man called Dr. Ronald Mincy, a professor at Columbia University, whose team will start work on the project next month. Dr. Brown, speaking at a press conference flanked by Cabinet Ministers and his Chief of Staff Wayne Caines and consultant Rolfe Commissiong – who was involved in Dr. Wright’s earlier study, said the findings, which are not expected until 2009, will be debated in Parliament and help form Government policy. Dr. Brown said: “Government’s decision to embark upon this course is not to suggest that all black men are failing or that the most extremes of behaviour that may be exhibited by a small yet growing minority is the norm within our society. “We concede and celebrate that many black men, young or otherwise, are doing relatively well – getting their education, working hard, supporting their families, starting businesses and contributing to the well being of their respective communities, despite the perceived odds.” However, he added: “We do acknowledge that more needs to be done to identify those areas of Bermudian society which may be fueling the rise and growing prevalence of behaviours which inhibit the life chances of a growing number from this very valued sub-group.” Dr. Brown said Bermuda is “awash with opportunity”, which is something all sections of society should benefit from. He continued: “Moreover, we have witnessed an alarming trend over the last decade which has seen the emergence and growth of behaviours such as gang formation and violence, increased assaults and tragically even murders… Notwithstanding the above, the government does not yet possess a definitive picture as to the full scope of the issue before us.” The survey will have a lot of local input. Dr. Mincy will initially use information from the Department of Statistics. Social Rehabilitation Minister Dale Butler will develop a “monitoring project to annually track the progress of young, black men and other young adults on critical outcomes, such as attainment of education certificates, employment in key occupations and earnings.” Daltonelle Minors, a teacher in the private school system, will be the Bermuda-based research assistant. Dr. Brown said: “For longer than most would care to remember, some amongst us were ignored, disadvantaged and viewed as having little or no value. This government recognizes that in a country with limited human resources we can no longer afford to squander precious human potential.” In June last year Government published a comprehensive report into sustainable development on the island. It talked about the need for a better education system and more affordable housing.

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