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This Week in PubHub: Minorities

February 21, 2011

(Kyoko Uchida manages PubHub, the Foundation Center's online catalog of foundation-sponsored publications. In her last post, she introduced several reports that explore aspects of democratization, political transition, and nation building in the Muslim world.)

Throughout the month of February, PubHub is featuring reports about racial/ethnic minorities. ccording to Marrying Out: One-in-Seven New U.S. Marriages Is Interracial or Interethnic, a new report from the Pew Research Center, 14.6 percent of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between people of different races (i.e., white, black, Asian, American Indian, mixed race, or some other race) or different ethnicities (between a Latino/ Hispanic and non-Latino/Hispanic). The report also found that while intermarriage rates have gone up significantly since 1980 for whites and African Americans, they've declined slightly for Latinos/Hispanics and Asians. Trends vary by race/ethnicity and gender, with the rate of intermarriage for African-American men (22 percent) far outpacing that of African-American women (8.9 percent) and Asian women much more likely to intermarry (39.5 percent) than Asian men (19.5 percent).

Among those who often go unmentioned in such surveys or are subsumed into the "other race" category are Native Americans. Two reports from the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, Investing in Tribal Governments: Case Studies From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Investing in Tribal Governments: An Analysis of Impact and Remaining Need Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, describe how partnering with tribal governments can support policy innovations with the potential to spur economic growth in Indian country, even as they make the case that the stimulus funds, while helpful, only begin to address Native Americans' long-term needs. Among other things, the reports call for structural changes to give tribes greater access to federal funds on a consistent basis, more frequent direct engagement with tribal leaders, and better data collection to inform policy.

What about philanthropic support for Native peoples? The Ford Foundation report Native Arts and Cultures: Research, Growth and Opportunities for Philanthropic Support highlights the foundation's Indigenous Knowledge and Expressive Culture initiative and brings together the cumulative findings of three reports. One, a grantmaking evaluation, found that philanthropic support for Native arts and artists remained inadequate, even though grantees managed to leverage funding to achieve greater impact; a second revealed a need for more opportunities to deepen the knowledge and skills of Native leaders; and the third, a feasibility study, determined that creating a Native arts and cultures fund could help support artists at the community level. In response, the Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the Wiyot Tribe, created the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation in 2009 to help develop and revitalize Native American artistic expression and foster indigenous arts in American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native communities.

What should be philanthropy's role in supporting diversity and minority communities? How is it doing, and could it be doing more? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. And don't forget to visit PubHub, where you can browse more than two hundred reports related to issues affecting minorities in the United States.

-- Kyoko Uchida

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