We are approaching a tipping point in our work to close disparity gaps and improve outcomes for children of color and children living in poverty. The precipice of change is built on a mountain of efforts, and many have persisted in this important work to bring us to this point. And like all critical moments, success is dependent on bold decisions to bring our vision of equity to life for millions of families across the country.
This is why we’re accelerating our investment in communities that are changing systems to get better outcomes for youth and families. It’s also why we’re seeing new investments from industry leaders and national investors in StriveTogether and the Cradle to Career Network.
One such investor, Blue Meridian Partners, agrees with our belief that real change starts and happens in communities and is supporting StriveTogether to build capacity to sustain and scale our work with communities. The investment will also help us stabilize and accelerate state and regional COVID-19 recovery efforts. Not only was StriveTogether the first investment in the Place Matters Portfolio, Blue Meridian Partners invested directly in eight network members to accelerate their progress (Blue Meridian’s full list of investments in places across the country is available on their website).
This level of support signals confidence in our approach from a results-oriented investor who will help us to scale what’s working and to ensure every child has every opportunity to succeed in school and in life, cradle to career.
Next, StriveTogether is partnering with industry leaders to close the digital divide by providing devices, connectivity and tech support to one million students across the country. P&G approached StriveTogether through the Take on Race Coalition to explore how we could work together. We reached out to our national partners, leaders across the field of place-based work, to join the coalition. Together, we will show what’s possible when industry leaders join us in addressing this crisis.
And our children are in crisis. The pandemic, racial unrest and a divided nation will create a lasting imprint on our youth just like the Spanish Flu, Jim Crow laws, the Great Depression and racial segregation impacted prior generations. But the bold in those generations pressed forward, despite tragedy and uncertainty, to bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice. We have an opportunity right now to change the trajectory for our children in crisis.
We have the knowledge, resources and network to transform lives by transforming the systems that were designed to fail children of color and children living in poverty.
By investing in what works, industry and philanthropic leaders are helping us cross that threshold and spread change like a wildfire. Together, we will create a future where race or place do not determine opportunity or outcome.
A tipping point, according to Malcom Gladwell, is that magic moment when an idea or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. For us, the magic is in the results we’re seeing across the Cradle to Career Network. Despite the pandemic and cascading crises over the last year, community after community, place by place, these results show what’s possible when we work together in place.