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Cape Fear State of Kids luncheon highlights key data in understanding youth

District Attorney Ben David and Chief District Court Judge J. Corpening give opening remarks.
Camille Mojica
District Attorney Ben David and Chief District Court Judge J. Corpening giving opening remarks at the NC Child's Cape Fear State of Kids forum.

Earlier this week, child advocates, elected officials and justice department staff gathered at the Cameron Art Museum for NC Child’s Cape Fear State of Kids luncheon.

NC Child, a statewide non-profit, came prepared with statistics about children in New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick and Columbus counties.

They compiled data from multiple government agencies over several years to show where Cape Fear counties are succeeding — and lacking.

The data highlights the Black infant mortality rate — for every 1000 live births, roughly 13 Black babies die in infancy, compared to Hispanic babies at 5.8, and White babies at 4.8.

Pauline Hankins, District Court Juvenile Judge for Brunswick county, pointed to income disparities.

"The disparity in the numbers, that you have… The average income for Brunswick was like 60,000, but Columbus is 40,000," Hankins said.

She also asked about regional differences in insurance coverage, median income, and child delinquency rates.

One impact of income disparity is that relatively higher incomes in Pender County, driven by affluent retirees, have made it harder for officials to secure grant funding.

NC Child's full Child Health Report Card can be found here.

Camille hails from Long Island, NY where the exuberance of sports season never ended. She graduated from Boston University with a BS in Journalism and double minors in Classical Civilizations and Philosophy. Chasing stories has been a passion of hers since she was little, channeling itself through her art and writing. Camille’s journey in audio is never ending and she’s served as a podcast producer on multiple shows. When she’s not working she enjoys chatting and gaming with friends, reading, and creating digital art.