Students Find Surprising Data on Racial Disparities in Georgia


KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 22, 2021) — Kennesaw State University's Sociology undergraduate students, Leandra Girma and Devin Johnson, took on an interesting research project aimed at uncovering racial disparities in Georgia. The public’s opinions on employment, housing, education and the criminal justice system were used to conduct their research. Girma explained that they used the critical race theory to understand Georgia’s society as they gathered relevant and recent data. 

“We just wanted to get a better understanding of the public's opinions and attitudes over the racial climate that was happening”, said Girma. 

Girma and Johnson did not take on this “intensive” research alone, however. Helping them were other undergraduate students who ensured that the study was done efficiently. They helped to formulate questions and collected data from participants. Along their journey, Johnson realized that some of their initial expectations for the study were contrary to the actual results they received.

“No matter your race everybody kind of had similar speculations on race in Georgia,” said Johnson, which was not in their original hypothesis. 

Girma and Johnson were able to present their unanticipated findings at a conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia. Both students agreed that the experience was not only enjoyable, but also educational, as they met other students from different schools across the state who presented on various topics. Johnson admits that while he went into the research process with his own assumptions, he left with a different understanding of how racism is viewed in Georgia. 

“It was pretty amazing to see how people view Georgia. You have some minorities that don't look at it as bad and you also have lot of majority populations that will actually pay attention and their views made a difference.” 

To learn more about Girma's and Johnson's research, check out the video below.