Health, Education, Incarceration Are Among the Indicators the State Should Address for Black Children, Youth

June 21, 2018

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505 

A new KIDS COUNT report out today shows that New Mexico’s Black child population faces many barriers to success. Data show that New Mexico’s Black children are more likely to be born at a low birthweight and to die in infancy, and Black youth are disproportionately suspended and expelled from school and incarcerated.

The report was jointly released by the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs (NM OAAA) and New Mexico Voices for Children (NM Voices). The release coincides with the NM OAAA’s Black Child Wellness Summit, which is tomorrow, June 22, 8:30 am to 3 pm at the Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown.

“This report clearly shows that there is still a great deal of work to be done to ensure that New Mexico’s Black children have access to all of the opportunities they need in order to grow up healthy and thrive,” said Yvette Kaufman-Bell, executive director of the NM OAAA. “There are some very disturbing dichotomies here. For example, even though Black children are more likely to have health insurance than children of other races or ethnicities, Black children have substantially higher infant mortality rates and death rates by drug overdose. The report will help us begin to understand the plight of our Black children as we work with stakeholders to see increased positive outcomes,” she added.

Although Black children in New Mexico fare better than Black children across the nation on several indicators of child well-being, these disparities continue to be prevalent, even though the state’s Black families earn more money and have higher levels of educational attainment than most other racial and ethnic groups of color.

“While the bright spots are encouraging, state officials cannot lose sight of the fact that the state is failing its Black children in many ways,” said James Jimenez, executive director of NM Voices. “Hopefully this report gives them a road map of sorts into what programs and services need to be addressed and what policies need to be changed,” he added.

The report, “The Well-Being of Black Children in New Mexico,” which will be discussed by a panel at tomorrow’s summit, is available online here 


KIDS COUNT is a program of New Mexico Voices for Children and is made possible by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities. 625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p);