WKKF Poll of Latino Families Finds Optimism, Despite Many Obstacles

Battle Creek, Michigan, UNITED STATES

DALLAS, Nov. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In partnership with Univision and The Denver Post, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) today released a national survey of 1,000 Latino adults that relates the challenges and successes their families experience living in the United States. Latinos, ranging from new immigrants to long-time U.S. citizens, are keenly aware of discrimination and inequities, but remain optimistic about the future, particularly their economic conditions, personal health status, and the quality of public education for their children.

The poll, conducted between Sept. 19 and Oct. 15, 2014, is the second public opinion poll by WKKF to learn more about the impact a sluggish economy, public policy initiatives, and crime and violence are having on the quality of life for families of color in communities across the United States. A poll of African American families was released in May, and future polling is planned for next year. Latino Decisions conducted the recent Latino poll in both English and Spanish with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

"The premise for these surveys is rooted in the belief that the distinctive perspectives and experiences of America's largest racial and ethnic minority groups merit singular, nuanced attention," said WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. "With Latino children being the fastest growing demographic in the nation, their well-being is critical to America's future. The polling uncovers challenges faced by children and families, while identifying areas where families are succeeding."

The survey represents the views of every Latino in the U.S., from undocumented immigrants to those who migrated generations ago, on a variety of issues and circumstances. "We will use these findings to better address the obstacles confronting Latino families," said Ms. Tabron, "so that we can ultimately help create better environments where all children can thrive. We hope the polling data is used to intensify efforts by the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address root causes of the education, health, housing, and wealth inequities for people of color, especially children. This includes confronting racial biases, conscious and unconscious, that impact their families and communities."

WKKF is hosting a Livestream panel today to discuss the state of Latino families in the U.S. and can be seen at www2.wkkf.org/latinopoll.

Daniel Coronell, vice president and news executive director for Univision Communications, Inc., said: "This survey provides a current snapshot of how Hispanic families feel about their lives and their future in the U.S. and reveals their perception of important issues that affect them directly. The insights gained from the poll will be very valuable to help Univision better address the concerns of our audience as we advance our mission of informing and empowering the Hispanic community."‎

Gregory M. Moore, editor of The Denver Post, said that the polling data will help the nation better understand the plight of Latinos living in the U.S. "The Denver Post appreciates the opportunity to provide our readers with this comprehensive research that thoroughly describes the challenges and successes that Latinos face," Moore said. "What we have learned is that Latinos, and especially undocumented immigrants, are very optimistic that they will find a better quality of life in the U.S., despite the many obstacles."

Key findings in the poll include:

  • While optimism is seen throughout the survey, there are important, often counterintuitive, differences in demographic groups underscoring the complexity of the Latino experience in the U.S. Immigrants are especially hopeful about the opportunities in their new country on virtually all issues examined, while U.S.-born Latinos, and those with more education and higher incomes, express more skepticism and disappointment with persistent inequality, or view opportunities as diminishing.
  • Latinos cite a number of conditions that pose limits to socioeconomic advancement. Jobs and economic concerns are consistently cited as the issues that concern them most. Immigration and crime were the second and third most pressing issues. Interestingly, the two groups most optimistic about their financial futures are undocumented immigrants (86 percent) and those at the highest income range (81 percent of those earning over $75,000 annually).
  • There is concern about unequal treatment by local police, border patrol, and other law enforcement. Sixty-eight percent worry authorities will use excessive force against Latinos; only 26 percent believe they treat Latinos fairly most of the time; 18 percent have Latino friends or family who were victims of police brutality; and 59 percent said there are things they would change about their local police.
  • Latino women are particularly vulnerable to economic troubles. If faced with income losses, more than half could not draw from personal savings (54 percent); secure a loan from a bank (53 percent), nor from family or friends (56 percent). Among men, 73 percent could take on another job or more work hours, but significantly fewer Latinas (61 percent) could do the same. Parents with young children are also at higher-than-average risk: Only 43 percent have personal savings, 49 percent indicate childcare makes their work situation difficult, and 58 percent fear losing their jobs in the next year.

Through the poll series and work with grantees, WKKF is addressing gaps in health, educational achievements and economic security presently limiting opportunities for children.

"It is essential for America's future that these issues be addressed, especially as the nation quickly approaches a time when the majority of children in the U. S. will be children of color," says Dr. Barbara Ferrer, chief strategy officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

"Our poll of Latino families demonstrates that despite some gains towards racial equity in Latino communities, we have more work to do," she said. "Achieving racial healing and racial equity are key components of our mission to support children, families and communities in creating and strengthening the environment for children to succeed."

Poll materials can be downloaded at http://www.hispanicizewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Images-Kelloggs.zip

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

To learn more, visit www.wkkf.org or follow WKKF on Twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Poll Of Latino Families

Additional Findings and Quotations


  • Latinos do not subscribe to the notion of a "post-racial" society. A stunning 21 percent of Latinos cite the state of Arizona as the place where Latinos encounter discrimination most. Others mentioned the workplace and school as locales where anti-Latino discrimination occurs. Only 1 percent of all respondents reported that discrimination no longer exists.
  • Moreover, 36 percent of Latinos believe that discrimination is worse today than five years ago, while 32 percent said the nation has gotten worse over the last five years in treating all people with dignity and respect. In addition, 62 percent believe that Latinos will have better opportunities to succeed if barriers to education and in the workplace are broken down, and if Latinos were encouraged and welcomed to participate in all aspects of American life.
  • "The findings demonstrate the need for national systems-wide approaches, and place-based, community empowerment and revitalization strategies," said Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president for policy and senior advisor. "The findings reinforce the need for a solemn commitment to unifying our nation, to rejecting racism, to finding strength, not resentment, in our differences. Our children and collective futures are at stake."
  • "At the Kellogg Foundation, we work with a number of grantees that help Latino communities overcome the many obstacles they face," says Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president for policy and senior advisor. "The National Council of La Raza is one of our America Healing "anchor" institutions, one of several major civil rights organizations.
  • "Barrios Unidos, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., seeks to curtail youth violence and offers approaches to youth engagement, leadership, and alternatives to incarceration," says Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president for program policy and senior advisor. "And another example is La Plazita Institute which provides cultural healing services to Albuquerque's most vulnerable youth, adults and families."
  • The survey also found that Latino women are breastfeeding less than their mothers or grandmothers, citing declines in breastfeeding rates between second, third and fourth generations of Latino women. The findings mirror other studies, which have shown as Latino women become more acculturated in the U.S., breastfeeding rates go down. Still, Latinas who do breastfeed feel supported by their partners, family and friends and by their health care providers.
  • "The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, babies and communities are clear," said Carla D. Thompson, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, who oversees the foundation's Education & Learning, Family Economic Security teams and Food, Health & Well-Being program teams. "It is good news that Latinas who breastfeed do feel supported at home and by their health care providers. At the same time, we know everyone has a role in supporting moms and babies to breastfeed, such as employers and local businesses."
  • Thompson said that a WKKF grantee, the Center for New Communities (CNC), is developing tools for Latino-serving organizations to support breastfeeding. "CNC is creating educational materials and partnering with organizations to promote culturally relevant best practices so more Latina moms and babies have the opportunity to experience the benefits of breastfeeding," Thompson said.
  • On education, more than 60 percent of Latino parents with young children are attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering at the schools and working with administrators and teachers. But fewer than half are attending board meetings or working with parents on problem-solving. "While traditional approaches to family engagement, like attending parent-teacher conferences and other school functions, are an important starting point for conversation," said Thompson, "more needs to be done to address and remove the barriers that limit families engaging as partners and leaders in our communities."
  • Thompson said that Arizona-based Amistades Inc. is working to strengthen early learning outcomes for Latino children, as well as members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in southern Arizona. Working together with families, schools and communities, they will develop leadership capacities to harness the forward-driving strengths of family empowerment that create lasting community change.



Contact Data