Building Common Ground
How shared attitudes and concerns can create alliances between African-Americans and Latinos in a post-Katrina New Orleans
Key findings from Dr. Silas Lee & Associates' survey of African-American and Latino residents in New Orleans, commissioned by Oxfam America, September 2008.
Much has been written about the relationship between African-Americans and Latinos and the tensions that arose when they were forced to compete for the same limited resources in a post-Katrina New Orleans. But little is known about what the two groups have in common—and how those shared experiences, attitudes, and goals could bring them together to help rebuild their community.
In late 2008, Oxfam America commissioned Bright Moments, who subcontracted with Dr. Silas Lee & Associates, to conduct a survey of the racial attitudes of African-Americans and Latinos living in New Orleans. "Building Common Ground" is a summary of those findings. The purpose of the survey was to measure how African-Americans and Latinos rated the quality of their lives, race relations with each other, experiences with discrimination, perceptions of each other, support for an African-American and Latino alliance, and effective strategies for such alliances.
The results reveal that the majority of African-Americans and Latinos agreed that they face similar issues of discrimination3 and agreed that it's important for their two groups to put aside their differences and work on overcoming those issues. It is on this common ground that we seek to build.
This publication is available in English and Spanish.