The right to education and literacy-That was the main message of those who gathered in front of Manhattan's city Hall on Tuesday.
Participant are calling on the government to shift focus on Adult Literacy and help create an educated workforce, where immigrants and minorities have the same opportunity as others to find a well paying job. Of the over 12.2 million working-age adults in New York, 1.7 million have not completed high school (or equivalent). This equates to one out of seven adults having below-basic literacy skills, with the marginalized immigrant population making up the bulk of those numbers. Today more than 2 million NY residents, without a college degree, are living in families whose combined incomes are less than a living wage, twice the level of poverty. While children born to undocumented parents have difficulty finding funds for college, their parents never had a chance to go to school either. Mexican immigrants, the fastest growing demographic in New York, have by far the highest dropout rate of any immigrant group. The city's Asian population has a poverty rate to 29 percent, the highest for any single ethnic group. Some participants say they've remained quiet for long enough, often in fear of losing their jobs or having themselves or family members deported, however they hope by taking initiatives like the one today their voices for equality will finally reach City officials.