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AFRO-American Newspaper and Morgan State University Partner to Launch Statewide Polling to Gauge African-American Opinion

N.J.-based Braun Research, Inc. and Morgan’s Institute for Urban Research to Survey and Analyze Attitudes of Black Residents Toward Maryland’s Gubernatorial Race, to Start   

In the run-up to election day in Maryland, Morgan State University President David Wilson and AFRO-American Newspapers CEO/Publisher Frances Murphy Draper have announced a new research collaborative between the Historically Black Institution and the African-American–focused publication, to conduct a series of statewide opinion polls gauging the attitudes of African Americans. Starting with a poll related to Maryland’s gubernatorial race, the effort will expand to research a variety of other issues important to African Americans, such as economics and buying power, quality of life, mortality and law enforcement, with an eye toward polling of national trends in the future. The polling and data collection will be conducted by New Jersey-based Braun Research, Incorporated, with analysis support from Morgan’s Institute for Urban Research. The results of the first poll are expected to be released this later week.

“This is a unique time in our country’s history, and to make sense of some of the things that are transpiring requires a unique understanding, as we strive to give a voice to those who may not feel their issues are adequately being addressed or highlighted. With this partnership, we believe that we can assist in bridging some of the gaps,” said President Wilson. “In the city of Baltimore, no two voices resonate louder within the black community than those of Morgan and the AFRO, and through this research, we want to use our voices to help others know what the important issues are to African Americans throughout the state and nationally.”

“We are excited about this historic collaboration between two of our nation’s iconic African-American institutions,” said Draper, who is also a Morgan alumnus and vice chair of the Morgan State University Board of Regents. “Our goal is to accurately take the temperature of African Americans nationwide on a variety of topics. Morgan and the AFRO have a long history of working together, and we look forward to growing our legacy.”

The polling conducted by Braun will include only Marylanders who identify as African Americans. The pollsters will collect representative samples of registered voters categorized by age, gender, income and education. The initial poll, which will focus on the race for the next Maryland governor, comes during a time when three African-American candidates are vying for governor in three states: Maryland, Georgia and Florida. African Americans represent an important voting constituency in those races.

Beyond the upcoming elections, Morgan and the AFRO look to move more of the research operation in-house and create a panel of pollsters assessing a host of issues in the American-African community, not only statewide but around the country. The polling and research analysis will be housed in Morgan’s Institute for Urban Research and led by the Institute’s director, Raymond Winbush, Ph.D. The finalized data will be available to interested organizations and entities.

“For the first time, an opinion poll conducted by an established black newspaper and an HBCU will sample the opinions of African Americans on a variety of subjects,” said Dr. Winbush. “The Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State is excited about its partnership with the AFRO to sample the opinions of African Americans who are often marginalized by other polling organizations.”

The Institute for Urban Research is the primary social science research and training arm of Morgan State University. The Institute has a core staff of experienced researchers who seek to improve the response of governmental, nongovernmental, private and other institutions to the challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor health, truancy and other urban and regional problems. Through its Community Development Resource Center, Family Life Center and Survey Research Center, the Institute provides a wide range of research and outreach services that include technical assistance to community-based agencies in Baltimore and Central Maryland. The Institute provides many opportunities for students to develop research skills and gain hands-on experience, through stipends, internships and research assistantships. It also assists faculty in preparing grant proposals, designing research studies and analyzing research data.

About the AFRO-American Newspaper
While the AFRO is honored to be designated by a 2014 Nielsen-Essence survey as the #1 source of news for African-American people, being that source is something it’s been doing for more than 125 years. Since its 1892 founding by John H. Murphy, Sr., the AFRO has gathered news from and for black communities throughout the country and beyond. With its own itinerant writers and photographers, the AFRO has sensed value that could or would not be perceived by other journalists and has told every relevant story, recorded every insightful conversation and sent those stories to homes and offices through the hands of paper boys and girls who have grown up to be corporate and entrepreneurial news influencers in their own right. And the work is now expanded through the use of the latest technology and social media as the AFRO enjoys more than half a million Facebook followers and tweets its news on Twitter and its photos on Instagram.

About Morgan
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

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Larry Jones, University PR
(443) 885-3022

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