By Michael Coffey, Program Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
At The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, we invest in a more vibrant and prosperous region where everyone can thrive.
Part of a prosperous Greater Cincinnati region includes equity as defined by PolicyLink, “An equitable society is one in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.” Symptoms of inequity include poverty, lack of education, and healthcare disparities.
We want to help all people achieve their greatest potential.
At the recent 2016 Securing the Future Conference, local nonprofit leaders came together to hear PolicyLink’s Director Amanda Maria Navarro speak about equity and its importance to thriving communities.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its partners embrace PolicyLink’s challenge to become an “All-In City.” In “All-In Cities: Building an Equitable Economy from the Ground Up,” it lays out equity-focused practices that cities can implement to ensure that all people have opportunity.
PolicyLink’s eight equity goals provide a great framework:
- Grow good, accessible jobs that provide pathways to the middle class.
- Increase the economic security and mobility of vulnerable families and workers.
- Cultivate homegrown talent through a strong cradle to career pipeline.
- Create healthy, opportunity-rich neighborhoods for all.
- Build resilient, connected infrastructure.
- Increase access to high-quality, affordable homes and prevent displacement.
- Expand democracy and the right to the city.
- Ensure just policing and court systems.
Hundreds of nonprofit professionals heard this message and the terrible local statistics surrounding poverty and equity. The next step is improving those outcomes and decide where our work fits in. The sooner we change the conversation to “when low-income people thrive, we all thrive,” the better.
Navarro pointed out that our region would have a $6.35 billion gain if all things were equitable. All things equitable includes improved health, revitalized neighborhoods, and good quality jobs.
- Read more in Cincinnati Enquirer: National expert: Inequality runs deep in Cincinnati (March 23, 2016)
Our community is taking action.
The conference theme “Embracing Equity: An Economic and Social Imperative” was chosen after a delegation from Cincinnati attended PolicyLink’s 2015 Equity Summit in the fall. As one of the attendees, I was excited we asked PolicyLink to travel to Cincinnati to share what we learned with a broader audience.
Momentum is key and our community is building momentum. We have great talent and resources in this city, we just need to coordinate them. We need to be truthful about our challenges around equity and then work to achieve our greatest potential.
- Visit the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber to learn about the 2016 Securing the Future Conference.
- Read PolicyLink’s Equity Manifesto.
- Contact Michael Coffey, Program Officer, or Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of The Women’s Fund to learn more.