Unconscious racist attitudes undermine best intentions

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reviews research showing implicit biases of doctors, school principals, police, recruiters, and – yes – everyday citizens who “deplore discrimination” and would be appalled at the suggestion that they might harbor racist attitudes. Kristof links to an online test of unconscious attitudes, and offers hope that training, policies, and increased accountability can mitigate some of these unintentional acts of discrimination. Since its inception, Communities Count has focused on equity, and whenever possible analyzes community data by race, ethnicity, country of birth, first language, and sexual orientation. In the most recent Communities Count survey, King County residents reported significant disparities in experiences of discrimination.

StoryCorps™ focuses on family homelessness in Puget Sound region.

National Public Radio’s StoryCorps™ came to Western Washington this summer to record stories of homelessness among families in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. The project, “Finding Our Way,” was conducted in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle University, and homeless services providers. The first local story aired on NPR’s “Morning Edition” on August 22nd. According to the most recent data posted on Communities Count, close to 6,200 public school students in King County were homeless in the 2012-2013 school year.

Resilience builds on early childhood experience.

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation makes a strong case for early childhood as the best time to intervene for optimal social, emotional, intellectual, and yes, even health outcomes. Evidence continues to accrue supporting the effectiveness of early interventions – from the Nurse-Family Partnership to quality early childhood education programs. Until recently, we haven’t known much about the health benefits of these programs. This report brings us up to date with findings about reductions in teen pregnancy and alcohol consumption and, in adulthood, decreases in depressive symptoms and risks for heart disease and diabetes. Communities Count presents King County data on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and adult health outcomes.