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Indiana Black Expo releases report on "State of Our Black Youth"

The latest findings from Indiana Black Expo show good and bad news for Tippecanoe County.

The Greater Lafayette chapter released the State of Our Black Youth report Tuesday and discussed some of the results.

President Jesse Moore says there’s been great improvement in the area of education. However, he says black juvenile delinquency case filings are up in the Lafayette area compared to two-years ago and compared to the state as a whole.

“Those are youth who, if we’re not very careful, will get in that downward spiral and find it very difficult to get out of the justice system. So, we’re going to be taking a look in those areas.”

The report shows more than 50% and 100% gains in 3rd graders passing the I-STEP Math and English portions, respectively. Part of the progress is due to greater time spent in schools on the subject, but also after school programs in the community.

DuShaun Goings, program director at the Tippecanoe Youth Center, says the homework help they offer children is critical and the programming allows them to learn some life lessons.

“It’s good for them to learn different skills – peer relationship skills, listening to adults and mentors – and we have volunteers from Purdue University come over and be the mentors.”

Goings agrees more work is needed in the Lafayette area.

Moore says there are too many black children living in poverty and living in single-parent homes or with a parent who is unemployed.

Indiana Black Expo is gathering experts to produce an action plan, and Moore says that will impact local youth.

“I think what we need to do is find out those families, whether they’re two-parent or single-parent households that are having children falling within some of these categories, we need to identify those and figure out how we can lend as much assistance as we can.”

He says the Lafayette area is a good place to raise children, and hopes the community will come together to address issues highlighted in the report.

You can see the full State of Our Black Youth report HERE.