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Approaching the Intersection: Will a Global Pandemic and National Movement for Racial Justice Take Philanthropy Beyond Its Silos?January 19, 2021
How is the philanthropic sector responding to the interconnected inequities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and the national movement against policy brutality and racism? Is this time of acute social upheaval leading funders to reevaluate their generally siloed approaches and consider what it will take to address today's challenges in transformational ways? Approaching the Intersection: Will a Global Pandemic and National Movement for Racial Justice Take Philanthropy Beyond Its Silos? explores these questions through conversations with place-based funders and national philanthropy-serving organization (PSO) leaders. It presents a snapshot of a sector that appears receptive to new ways of working, has access to approaches that suggest promise for making transformational change, but is moving cautiously and at times hesitantly toward undertaking the types of fundamental institutional realignment that will enable approaches with the greatest promise for delivering systemic equity and justice.
Within philanthropy, conversations about equity are increasingly taking center stage.Striving for equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to thrive. This requires removing obstacles such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care (Braveman, Arkin, Orleans, Proctor, & Plough, 2017).For national foundations, working through and with regional organizations can advance equity in critical ways. Working with regional organizations can help national funders increase understanding of, relevance to, andconnection with local communities and stakeholders, ground high-level systems change in the reality of people's lives, and create common cause among a set of stakeholders across multiple localities, bringing scale andsustainability to community change initiatives. In the best-case scenario, foundation investments in regionalorganizations can catalyze powerful ripple effects, such as developing local leadership, spurring economic growth, and building a stronger nonprofit infrastructure.This paper seeks to inform national funders interested in more deeply understanding the opportunities to advance equity by working with and supporting regional organizations (as compared to local or national organizations). To do so, we reviewed the literature and conducted 20 interviews with national foundation executives who have workedwith regional organizations as part of their strategy, as well as representatives from organizations working regionally, such as community development finance institutions, regional and community foundations, and community colleges. Based on the insights shared with us, we examine how working with regional organizations can advance equity, how national foundations can work effectively with these organizations, and the potential pitfalls andchallenges of this work.
High quality care and learning opportunities in early childhood (defined as the first five years of a child's life) have lasting effects on health and wellbeing. Although all children can benefit from high quality early care and education, nationally, only half of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in any preschool (public or private).Some groups of children are even less likely to be enrolled in preschool. Hispanic and American Indian children have lower enrollment rates (41% and 44%, respectively), while Asian, white and black children are enrolled at higher rates (54%, 49% and 51%, respectively).1 These differences in early childhood educational experiences may contribute to longer term educational and health inequities.
Neighborhoods matter for children's healthy development. A family's resources affect children's ability to thrive, but the neighborhoods where children grow up are critically important as well. Supportive neighborhood resources and onditions (e.g., good early childhood education centers and schools, green spaces, and low poverty) can enhancethe effect of protective family factors or mitigate the effects of adverse family factors. This report marks the launch of the Child Opportunity Index 2.0. A stronger and more robust data tool than its predecessor the Child Opportunity Index 1.0, COI 2.0 is the best index of children's contemporary neighborhood opportunity available. We are launching the COI 2.0 data and first findings to support improved understanding of the neighborhoods where our children are growing up today and spur actions to improve neighborhood environment for all children.In 2014, we launched the Child Opportunity Index to provide the first data resource on child opportunity in neighborhoods across the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Since then, we have seen growing research evidence and awareness of the effects of neighborhoods on children. We have also witnessed increasing national attention to widening income and wealth inequality and its detrimental consequences for low- and middle-income families, economic growth and social cohesion.Energized by the availability of the Child Opportunity Index and other neighborhoodlevel data, a wide range of users has employed the COI to learn about and improve neighborhood conditions for children in their communities. These diverse COI users include community organizers, non-profit organizations, government agencies and researchers in sectors such as public health and health care, housing and community development, child welfare, and early care and ducation. In response to the demand for the COI, diversitydatakids.org has updated and improved the index.
This paper takes a closer look at how national foundations and large foundations are engaging those directly impacted by inequity, including communities of color and people from low-income communities, in their decision-making.Based on a review of the literature, internal documents shared by foundations, 31 interviews with philanthropic thought leaders, staff from national and/or large foundations, staff from smaller, exemplar foundations, as well as individuals who represent directly impacted communities, this paper examines the unique context of large and national foundations, including the ways in which their size, scale, and orientation pose challenges and create opportunity for meaningful community engagement.This paper also explores the institutional and individual competencies needed to do this work well and offers recommendations for getting started.
Given the influence of neighborhoods on children's healthy development, it is very important to know where children live in relation to neighborhood opportunity and whether all children have equal access to neighborhood conditions and resources that help them thrive. The Child Opportunity Index allows us to answer these important questions.To summarize inequities in children's access to opportunity, we calculate Child Opportunity Scores by racial/ethnic group for each metro area. The score for a given racial/ethnic group represents the score of the neighborhood experienced by the typical (median) child of that group.
Dehumanization is the cause of generations of historical trauma. The cycle begins with negative narratives that label people of color—particularly boys and young men—violent, criminal, and animalistic. To combat the perceived threat, dangerous actions are taken by the majority culture and systems which further dehumanize BYMOC. As a result, BYMOC and their villages often hold harmful internal feelings of unworthiness taught by their oppressors. It is not uncommon for them to engage in various forms of self-harm or to harm others. These destructive external reactions are not explained as normal responses to trauma. Stories of their negative reactions become justification for more negative narratives and the cycle begins again
Provides background research about the current state of physical activity in the nation and highlights organizational practices and public policies to improve physical activity among children and youth. The report serves as a launching pad for action for practitioners and advocates who are interested in engaging in systems and environmental change approaches in four key arenas: schools, early childcare and education settings, out-of-school-time programs, and communities.Commissioned by the Convergence Partnership, a national collaborative of health funders in the U.S., the report was informed by research and key informant interviews. Reflecting the Convergence Partnership's vision, the report's analysis of policy opportunities at the federal, state and local level emphasizes ways to ensure that health equity is at the forefront of collaborative efforts.This document is part of a larger strategy to identify high-impact approaches that will move the Convergence Partnership closer to the vision of healthy people in healthy places. In addition to this document, the Partnership has released other policy briefs on topics such as the built environment and access to healthy food.
People of color in the United States experience poorer health and more premature, preventable mortality than their White counterparts. Although health care companies prioritize achieving health equity, their efforts often focus on disparities caused by poverty, education, and disability without explicitly addressing how structural racism significantly raises the risk of poor health for people of color. Corporate diversity and inclusion efforts, while helpful, are not sufficient to counter biases in clinical practice or access to health care. By better serving communities of color, health care companies can deliver better outcomes and strengthen their own economic performance.A follow-up to The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity, developed in partnership with PolicyLink, this report focuses on actions taken by companies in the health care sector to create business value by addressing the unique challenges faced by communities of color. The companies featured in this report—ProMedica, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, and UnitedHealth Group—have adopted several business strategies that improve health outcomes for people of color and create a competitive advantage through reduced costs, avoided readmissions, and greater member satisfaction.
Historically, financial institutions in the United States have not served people of color effectively or fairly. Even today, people of color have less access to credit, pay higher interest rates for loans, and are less likely to receive venture capital funding as compared to their White counterparts. Serving these markets effectively is not only a moral imperative, but also an economic opportunity to enhance a company's bottom line.A follow-up to The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity, developed in partnership with PolicyLink, this report highlights specific action steps leading companies in the financial sector have taken to create business value by using credit, savings, and investment products to address the unique challenges faced by communities of color. The companies featured in this report—Citi, Oportun, OneUnited Bank, Prudential Financial, and Impact America Fund—have found competitive advantage through their strategies to serve consumers who have historically been excluded.
All children can benefit from high-quality early care and education because early childhood experiences (defined as the first five years of a child's life) can have lasting effects on child health and wellbeing.1 Head Start, the largest public early childhood care and education program in the U.S., offers high-quality preschool services for low-income children (defined as 3- and 4-year-olds with family income below 100% of the federal poverty level). However, nationally, only half of the children who are eligible for Head Start are served by the program,2 and some groups of children are less likely than others to be served by Head Start. For example, only 38% of Hispanic eligible children attend Head Start compared with more than half (53%) of black eligible children.Research shows that having a Head Start center in a child's immediate neighborhood increases participation among Hispanic and immigrant children.3 Yet, new diversitydatakids.org research shows that, nationally, Hispanic and immigrant children have the worst neighborhood availability of Head Start followed by black children. Overall, white children who are eligible for Head Start have notably better neighborhood availability of Head Start than children of other racial/ethnic groups. These findings are concerning given that nationally Hispanic children now represent the largest share of children eligible for Head Start (36% in 2013-2017), and that together Hispanic and black children - the two groups with the worst neighborhood availability - represent over 60% of eligible children.
More than 20 percent of the gains in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) disappeared by the end of 2017. The uninsured rate for nonelderly adults increased by 1.3 percentage points in 2017, after decreasing by 6.3 percentage points between 2013-2016, after the full implementation of the ACA. Key FindingsResearchers pointed to factors that could be contributing to fewer people with insurance:Fewer federal resources devoted to raising awareness of coverage options and signing-up individuals;Increasing premiums in the individual marketplace;Recent regulatory changes.ConclusionThe ACA is associated with large gains in coverage and access to care. As the partial loss of these gains over 2017 shows, this increased coverage isn't necessarily permanent, and ongoing policy debates will have an impact on health insurance coverage. Continued monitoring of changes in coverage levels, utilization of health care services, and population health are needed to fully understand the effects of policy changes on the ACA's impact.
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