New report highlights disparities of Utah Black women

May 18, 2022, 7:35 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:33 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah- A greater portion of Utah Black women have jobs compared to other women in the state, but their wages are lower, and they face much higher poverty rates.

Those are just some of the disparities highlighted in a new report from Utah State University’s Utah Women & Leadership Project. “The Status of Utah Black Women” is one of a series of research reports that uses data to spotlight the experiences of Utah women and girls of color.

“I moved here with my husband to southern Utah to a place I had never heard of,” said Tasha Toy.

Toy is the assistant vice president for campus diversity and the senior equity and inclusion officer at the recently renamed Utah Tech University. She’s also a Black woman who has made Utah home for the last four years.

“It has been a pleasant experience. I’ve met a lot of great people. And the job I have really keeps me on my toes,” she said. “It also has provided an opportunity for growth to happen. I’m part of the new change Utah is starting to see.”

Toy is one of three authors of “The Status of Utah Black Women,” that uses data from Utah’s System of Higher Education, Department of Corrections and Department of Health to paint a picture of their experiences in areas like healthcare, employment, education, and income.

According to the report, which also used U.S. Census data, there are 16,072 Black women in Utah, just a half percent of the state’s population.

The report shows that 20 percent of Black women don’t have health insurance compared to about 11 percent of Utah women. More black women get preventative healthcare, but they are more likely to see poor health outcomes.

They have a higher labor force participation rate compared to Utah women, but their median personal income is much lower, and they “face concerningly higher rates of poverty (33.6% vs. 10.8% of all Utah women), which is also higher than national trends (24.5% for US Black women vs. 14.7% for all US women).”

Black women in Utah “end their education with a high school diploma (26.0%) slightly more often than Utah women (23.8%).” But they “have much lower rates of attaining a bachelor’s degree (19.0% vs. 29.0% of all Utah women).”

“It might show a lot of gaps and a lot of troubling information, but to use it as a promising stepping stone to opportunities to address change in our state,” Toy said.

“We need to do our best to make sure data is tracked at this level. And if it’s not, do all the efforts we can to start collecting this data and track it,” said Marin Christensen, another report author.

Christensen is the associate director of USU’s Utah Women & Leadership Project, the group behind this report and others that focus on Utah Asian women and Utah Pacific Islander women.

She acknowledged, “it’s not one size fits all. Everyone has much different experiences.” And they “can’t tell the whole story of what’s going on” in these reports. They couldn’t find data in areas like housing, transportation, domestic violence, childcare accessibility, civic engagement, and food insecurity.

But Christensen said they still help accomplish UWLP’s mission is “to strengthen the impact of all Utah women and girls.”

“And when we’re able to get at these much-needed rates—even if we’re missing the data that we do—it gives us that much more information to target our efforts where we need to.”

Toy hopes Utahns will ask, “How are you making a difference within your community within these groups?”

She said they’re giving this information to local, state, and industry leaders and hope they will use it to keep the conversation going and to help change the landscape for women of color.

“Look at it as an opportunity. Not as a place or space of doom and gloom, and everything is bad. It’s a lot of hope in this document.”

UWLP is working on collecting data to write up two other reports, one that focuses on Utah Hispanic women and Utah Native American women.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

man holds gun...

Shelby Lofton

Expert breaks down how far someone can legally go to protect their Utah property

A tense interaction between a snowboarder and a Brighton man has started conversation on Utah's trespassing laws, and now an expert is weighing in.

11 hours ago

New homes during construction. (Ray Boone, KSL News)...

Daniel Woodruff

Battle brewing between Utah builders, cities over home inspections

SB185, which passed the Senate this week and awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, could allow builders to pick their own inspectors.

11 hours ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

12 hours ago

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her...

Shara Park

Sandy police seeking help in locating vehicle involved in a hit-and-run

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her teenage daughter to the hospital.

14 hours ago

Keith Sorenson opens a tool shed to display the tools of the trade. (Stuart Johnson, KSL News)...

Alex Cabrero

Taylorsville heritage center reclaims stolen historic anvils

A pair of historically-significant anvils were finally returned to Taylorsville after being stolen two years ago.

14 hours ago

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 76-year-old Joe Vakuata. (Herriman ...

Mark Jones

UPDATE: Herriman police find missing 76-year-old man safe

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing 76-year-old man.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

New report highlights disparities of Utah Black women