racial justice

Ohio's County Prosecutors All White, Study Finds

Jul 12, 2015
The Montgomery County courthouse. A recent study finds all county prosecutors in Ohio are white.
OhZinOH / Flickr/Creative Commons

Prosecutors and grand juries have faced public scrutiny in recent months following some high-profile cases in which white police officers have killed African Americans. A new study reveals a striking lack of diversity among elected district attorneys across the country, including Ohio counties.

The national study by the advocacy group Women Donors Network found 95 percent of the country’s elected prosecutors are white and 80 percent male. Ohio is no different. All of Ohio’s 88 county prosecutors are white, just 12 of those are women.

Dwayne Bickham has worked at Bowman and Young Funeral Chapel since he was 17, in 1979.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The funeral or “death-care” industry brings in an estimated $20 billion a year in the U.S., but the industry is changing. There’s been a shift towards chain funeral homes, and more people are choosing cremation, and that has black-owned funeral homes particularly worried about staying above ground in Dayton and beyond.

At the end of this week, a Smithsonian exhibition celebrating two landmark bookends of the civil rights movement heads out of Louisville, Ohio, a small town in Stark County that has had a history of racial problems

A new report from the Annie E. Casey foundation says children of color still face 'Troubling obstacles' when it comes to social and economic opportunity in the US.  The document states those obstacles are especially true for children in Ohio.

The annual Kids Count Policy Report measures how children in all racial groups are fairing as they reach certain milestones, from birth, through early education, and into adulthood. Sarah Biehl is policy director with Children's Defense Fund Ohio.  

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed race and sex discrimination in employment and public facilities.

And a lot of people are asking: what has changed?

“Dayton has changed tremendously as far as where we were,” says Jessie O. Gooding of Jefferson Township. “We haven’t achieved the total goal.”

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Federal regulators held a public meeting Monday to talk about banking services in West Dayton. The closing of the Westown PNC branch this summer has turned a large part of West Dayton into a “banking desert”; from the former site of the bank, there are no bank branches within a two-mile radius.

At the crowded meeting, David Greer with the Northwest Priority Board called the departure of banks from the neighborhood “redlining.”

“It is a form of discrimination, and this is something that we as a people have fought long and hard for decades against,” he said.