The Opportunity Atlas is a free resource developed by Harvard economist Raj Chetty and colleagues. It allows us to trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up.
This tool allows us to investigate the Rust Belt critically and interrogate “For whom opportunity has been missing” and assists us in developing local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.
The map above shows household income data for black adults at age 35 who were born to parents in the lowest income percentile. The areas in deep red are primarily concentrated on the west side of Dayton, Ohio, and range from $13k-$21k for the entire household. This is the lived experience of many African American families in Dayton, Ohio following the preciptious decline in manufacturing jobs in the region.
This decline in heavily unionized, well-paying manufacturing jobs has left many African American families trapped in communities that have been neglected, disinvested, and over-policed for decades. We envision a robust community that is physically vibrant, economically viable, safe, and with strong neighborhoods and schools that prepare children for the 21st century workforce.