Although many people believe the shift is due to immigration rates, it actually stems fromthe higher fertility rates of Hispanics coupled with lower fertility rates of Whites. Still, how we respond now to the new challenges of racial and ethnic diversity will determine the future social and economic health of central Ohio. This is a demographic ‘pipeline’ issue that will not go away anytime soon. We can see evidence of this shift in our communities as well. In Ohio’s public schools, 4.6% of the student body was Hispanic in the 2014-2015 school year, up from 2.7% in 2008-2009.
In fact, research is nding that when demographic shifts such as those we are experiencing are made salient, these can give rise to fear and anxiety. However, this transformation can also be seen as an opportunity to take our values of diversity and equality to the next level, to make meaningful, inclusive changes to the way we structure our systems, our communities, and our relationships with one another.
Over the past few years, the Champion of Children reports have been steadily making the case that here in central Ohio, we also need to be considering these changes. We’ve sought to galvanize advocates, offcials, parents, and anyone who cares about the health and well-being of our home tomorrow to care about the health and well-being of our children, today. Accordingly, we must pay attention to the disparities that manifest in our communities. In 2015, we looked at boys of color more broadly, exploring how our more nuanced understandings of neighborhoods and stress can explain the racial disparities we see in our community. But we know that the data does not do a very good job of capturing the full experience of local Latino children and their families, and that this is a story that must be told if we are to design e ective strategies for lifting all of our children to success.