New Jersey is 2nd in nation for racial progress
Rutgers University prides itself on the diversity of its students, which may contribute to New Jersey ranking second in the country for racial progress in 2017.
New Jersey ranked second with an overall score of 66.71 in racial progress and ranked 24th in racial integration with an overall score of 59.25.
The state rankings are based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center of Education Statistics, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to WalletHub.
“I’m not surprised because we are a Democratic state,” said Bianca Crucio, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “So we have more open-minded people compared to more conservative states.”
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits employers from discriminating against people in regards to any job-related practices. This protects individuals in the categories of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and more, according to nj.gov.
“Many organizations have developed programs of inclusion and promoting equality and New Jersey has legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is a very eclectic state,” said Debbie Hines, a professor in the Department of Labor Studies.
New Jersey was also recently ranked the eighth most tolerant state, according to thedailybeast.com.
The tolerance ranking took a number of factors into consideration, including hate crimes, discrimination, religious tolerance and the percent of the population in support of same-sex marriage, according to the website.
“I think the education system in New Jersey is really good and more developed than others, the teachers help support racial progress,” Curcio said. “I used to go to West Virginia University and it was obvious that the other students weren’t as educated in diversity and stuff like that.”
New Jersey also has two schools ranked in the top 10 list of the most diverse Universities. Rutgers—Newark is ranked first and the New Jersey Institute of Technology is ranked ninth, according to usnews.com.
“At my other school, a lot of my friends and peers around me viewed people of different colors differently because they didn’t experience diversity growing up,” Curcio said. “It’s a lot different than Rutgers and going to school in the tri-state era in general because you see and experience different races all the time.”
But even with these advances, white people still make about two-thirds more money than black people in New Jersey, according to WalletHub.
Robert Emmanual, a School of Engineering senior, said he does not feel as though the state has undergone notable growth.
“I find this all very surprising because being a black male in New Jersey, I do not think there has been significant process from, say, 10 years ago to now in terms of racial progress in New Jersey,” Emmanual said.
Nationally, all groups, including every gender, race and ethnicity, except Asian-American men, still lag behind white men in terms of median hourly earnings, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
“While there are issues of racial divide that still exist within society, New Jersey has made strides toward improving racial differences,” Hines said. “There are opportunities for improvement.”
Kayon Amos is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in human resources. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.