Survey: 21% say racism is a significant problem in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In a survey, 21% of respondents said that racial or ethnic discrimination is a significant problem in the Rochester region.

That’s one of the findings of the "State of Hate in Greater Rochester" report released on Wednesday. The survey organized by the Levine Center to End Hate and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester analyzes local attitudes toward discrimination.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester said the survey showed that Rochester is overall a welcoming place, according to 81% of respondents, but the region still has challenges with discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, religion, and gender.

Here’s some other key findings

  • 83% of respondents said problem exists for people of color.
  • While most people report being aware that discrimination is an issue in our community, it is a theoretical concept for most white people, but part of the lived experience for the majority of African Americans.
  • 69% of black people and 18% of white people described discrimination based on race or ethnicity as a significant problem.

Out of people who said they’ve felt discriminated against because of their race, 51% said the incident happened while shopping or at a restaurant. The next highest percentage was at the workplace, at 45%.

For reports of LGBTQ+ status discrimination, 51% said they were discriminated against online and 48% said in their neighborhood.

A section of the report, "Reasons for Hope", highlighted how people are addressing racism or other forms of biases. 41% of respondents said they have a positive conversation with family or friends about challenges that marginalized groups face.

Assemblyman Harry Bronson was at the presentation of the survey results.

"It not only shows how we live in somewhat different worlds and what we perceive that we live in different worlds. And at the same time there’s hope," Bronson said.

Levine Center Community Survey Press Presentation by Evangelos Bourtis on Scribd