Jody L. Miller
Ellen Zoe Golden
JLM PR, Inc.
(212) 431-5227
[email protected]
[email protected]




NEW YORK, N.Y. – NOVEMBER 9, 2005 – The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding released today a Poll on Race Relations and Changing Ethnic Demographics in the United States of America. This landmark study presents a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the rapidly changing racial and ethnic face of American society. Answers to tough questions about attitudes and views toward race, diversity and changing neighborhoods provide an unprecedented, in-depth social examination that exposes the serious differences between old and young America.

The poll reveals a glaring finding that clearly demonstrates young people aged 18-34 are making up a Nu America and leading the country in bridging the cultural divide. In 4 out of 5 questions, this age group scored higher than the general population when it came to being sympathetic or sensitized to issues surrounding race and ethnic demographic changes. While this bodes well for America’s youth, the poll also reveals that Americans older than 35 are not as prepared for the realities of a changing country. California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii are already minority majority states, states where the majority of the population consists of minority groups. Within the next two years, New York, Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi and Arizona will also be minority majority states.  It is estimated that the next generation of Americans will be growing up in a completely minority majority country.

The nationally recognized market research and polling company, Global Strategy Group, conducted the national poll of 1388 American adults, which included an 870 person nationwide poll plus additional ethnic over-samples to complete the total. The over samples breakdown is as follows: 206 total interviews with African-Americans, 200 total interviews with Jewish Americans, and 200 total interviews with Hispanic Americans. The poll was conducted from September 29 to October 10, 2005—and comprised 53 questions about each individual’s opinion, experience and attitude toward race relations—especially in light of changing ethnic demographics in the nation and their own neighborhoods.

Results and Analysis:

Key Poll Data:
11. Should legal immigration into the United States be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?
Increased: 20%
18-34: 27%
35-44: 24%
45-64: 18%
65+: 10%

17. Would you like it better if your neighborhood were more ethnically diverse or if it were less ethnically diverse, or do you want your neighborhood to stay the way it is right now?
Much more/Somewhat more (net of combined total of percentages): 26%
18-34: 34%
35-44: 31%
45-64: 21%
65+: 19%

19. Do you think that, in our personal lives, we socialize with members of other ethnic groups too much, about the right amount or not enough?
Not enough: 48%
18-34: 65%
35-44: 40%
45-64: 47%
65+: 39%

22. How would you rate the state of race relations in the United States? Are race relations in the United States excellent, good, bad or very bad?
Bad/Very Bad (net of combined total percentages): 40%
18-34: 42%
35-44: 45%
45-64: 36%
65+: 38%

37. Do you support or oppose affirmative action to address racial discrimination?
Support: 52%
18-34: 59%
35-44: 53%
45-64: 50%
65+ 49%

39. Would you support or oppose an increased effort by the federal government to address poverty in America?
Support: 78 %
18-34: 84%
35-44: 73%
45-64: 80%
65+ 71%

41. Do you think that, if the hurricane-affected communities in New Orleans were white, the government would have responded more quickly, less quickly or in the same way?
More Quickly: 30%
18-34: 40%
35-44: 27%
45-64: 25%
65+: 28%

42. Do you think Anti-Semitism in America is increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same?
Increasing: 18%
18-34: 20%
35-44: 18%
45-64: 17%
65+: 18%

43. Do you think the next generation of Americans will be more racially tolerant, less racially tolerant or about the same as Americans today?
Much More/ Somewhat More Tolerant (net of combined total percentages): 57%
18-34: 62%
35-44: 58%
45-64: 60%
65+: 45%

· Children should be exposed to different cultures and ethnic groups.    
Agree: 93%
18-34: 94%
35-44: 96%
45-64: 93%
65+ 89%

· Hip Hop, as a cultural movement, has the power to bring diverse people together.
Agree: 40%
18-34: 60%
35-44: 46%
45-64: 30%
65+ 23%

*The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding believes that the next great challenge facing our nation is to understand and respond to the ethnic demographics that are profoundly changing our neighborhoods. We are encouraged, however, that 18-35 year olds appear to be better prepared to respond to these demographic changes. How, why, and when we come to grips with these cultural, political and socioeconomic changes will profoundly impact our future. 

Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding explained, “Ethnic changing demographics are creating new tensions and obstacles in our communities. We must honestly and openly begin a dialogue between and within communities and families in order to ensure a better future for our children.” Russell Simmons, Chairman of both the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Hip-Hip Summit Action Network emphasized, “The results of this national poll require an urgent response across the United States. 18-35 year olds are speaking out in favor of a more inclusive, tolerant and diverse society where the elimination of poverty and ignorance should be given a top priority.”

Lawrence Kopp, Executive Director the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding stated, “This poll is a wake up call for Americans to educate and prepare themselves for the seismic ethnic shifts in our neighborhoods and communities. The Foundation plans to distribute these important findings to African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Jewish elected officials at the local, state and federal levels nationwide, ethnic lay leaders across the country and members of the ethnic media in order to encourage more dialogue and interaction.”

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network concluded, “The poll commissioned by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding is not only timely but the results reveal a compelling reality about attitudes toward race and ethnicity. In particular the Hip-Hop generation is evolving to challenge America and the world to embrace the positive values of diversity and inclusiveness.”
Interviews can be arranged with The Foundation’s chairman, Russell Simmons, the President, Rabbi Marc Schneier and the survey company, Global Strategy Group. For in-depth information about the methodology of the poll or the conclusions that were reached, please contact Lawrence Kopp, Executive Director at 917-492-2538.

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, under the leadership of Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, and Russell Simmons, Chairman, is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations.  The Foundation, founded in 1989, is based in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Hip-Hop Summit Action Network is a non-profit, non-partisan national coalition of artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents and youth leaders united in the belief that the "hip-hop" phenomena is an enormously influential agent for positive social change which must be responsibly and pro-actively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice. For more information on the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, go to