Occupy protesters eye diversity as movement grows

By Errin Haines

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 17 2011 1:40 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2011 file photo, demonstrators crowd around the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during a rally and march of thousands in Washington, as civic leaders, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, rallied for easier access to jobs. The rally was separate from Occupy DC, but holds similar ideals. The outcry against the nation’s financial institutions that has swept the country in recent weeks has crossed many boundaries, including class, gender and age. But a stubborn hurdle in many cities has been a lack of racial inclusion, something noted by organizers and participants alike.

Jose Luis Magana, File, Associated Press

ATLANTA — The outcry against the nation's financial institutions that's swept the country in recent weeks has crossed many boundaries, including class, gender and age. But a stubborn hurdle in many cities has been a lack of racial inclusion, something noted by organizers and participants alike.

The absence of diversity is particularly notable given that some of the larger issues surrounding the Occupy movement — including the economy, foreclosures and unemployment — are disproportionately affecting people of color.

John Hope Bryant is the founder and chief executive officer of a nonprofit organization that educates low-income Americans about finances. Bryant, who is black, says African-Americans are more inclined to rally around social justice causes, rather than those dealing with financial literacy.

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