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Discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation is getting worse in Michigan, respondents said in a recent poll commissioned for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.
The phone survey of more than 500 people showed that 46 percent of Michigan residents said people of color have worse educational and employment opportunities than white people, and 53 percent said that discrimination against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered individuals is prevalent. The percentage of people that say this is up from 41 percent a year ago.
Perhaps most discouraging, the number of respondents who said that people of color have worse educational and employment opportunities than whites increased from 32 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2010.
“In an age where diversity must be seen as critical to the success of any company seeking to compete nationally or globally, Michigan is moving backwards in the eyes of its own people when it comes to discrimination,” said Thomas Costello, president and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable. “These findings have deep consequences for our state as we seek to pull ourselves out of our current economic depression, and build a more inclusive community that ensures opportunity for all.”
The survey is the third conducted annually by Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. for the Michigan Roundtable. All three surveys ask about discrimination against women and people of color; the last two ask about discrimination based on sexual preferences. Support for this survey was provided by the Ford Foundation. Full results of the survey are available at http://www.miroundtable.org.