Diversity: can it be saved in small-town America?

By Courtney Kendler
Holt Journal staff reporter

When you walk into a coffee shop or beauty parlor in Holt, you may not be surprised to see a primarily white demographic. According to statistics gathered from the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, Holt is 86.3 percent white, 5.6 percent African American and 5.4 percent Hispanic. In that same year, the state of Michigan was recorded as being 78.9 percent white, 14.2 percent African American and 4.4 percent Hispanic. Compared with the state average, Holt has a significantly higher representation of white residents, while the number of African American and other minority groups in the area is lacking. Avni Tokhie, an Indian American and recent transplant to Holt, has taken notice of the lack of diversity in the area.

Racial disparities in infant deaths draw attention

Capital News Service
LANSING – While the infant mortality rate in Michigan is one of the highest in the nation, experts say the disparity in racial and ethnic groups is equally alarming. “The clearest issue to us is the huge difference in the health disparity by racial and ethnic groups,” said Paulette Dunbar, the manager of the Maternal, Infant and Family Health section at the Department of Community Health. According to the department, for every 1,000 babies born in Michigan, approximately five Caucasian and seven Hispanic babies die, compared to 14 African American babies who die before their first birthday. The state average is 7.1. Dunbar said in the late 1990s, the department started to identify what groups of residents were contributing to the infant mortality rate more than others.