Archive | September, 2011

Check out Opportunity Finance Network Conference!

IMPACT It's what we do.
Now in its 27th year, the Opportunity Finance Network Conference is the place to be for networking, learning, and thinking about the future of the CDFI industry.
Join them for dozens of sessions taught by CDFI experts, networking with hundreds of industry professionals, and community development finance tours highlighting healthy foods, transit oriented development, and more. 
Head to Minneapolis to discuss, “Impact. It’s What We Do”. Register now.
Obama’s Deficit Plan: Keeping the Essential Promise of America

Obama’s Deficit Plan: Keeping the Essential Promise of America


Below is a statement from PolicyLink on President Obama’s proposed deficit reduction plan:

President Obama has presented an impressive blueprint for a more fair, more just, and more equitable America. His deficit reduction plan asks more from those with more — and ensures America becomes a nation of opportunity for all.

By moving boldly to get our nation’s fiscal house in order today, President Obama will remove the yoke of yesterday’s misguided tax cuts from the shoulders of tomorrow’s workers. The top 1 percent of Americans own more private wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined. President Obama’s plan would be a significant step toward reducing the dramatic income equality that threatens growth and future prosperity.

Perhaps most important, though, the president’s plan maintains the social safety net that millions of Americans have relied on during hard times. In particular, his proposals to ensure Medicaid remains viable are a step in the right direction. As even more Americans are left uninsured by job loss or workplace cutbacks, struggling families need Medicaid’s protection more than ever.

Communities that have been under-invested for generations – especially low-income communities and communities of color – should be heartened to know that the president’s plan keeps the essential promise of America.

Tell Your Friends About Equity Summit 2011

Tell Your Friends About Equity Summit 2011

Equity Summit 2011 in Detroit Nov. 8-11 will bring together some of the nation’s leading voices on bringing real, positive change to our communities.

Want to help us spread the word? Here is some sample text for emails, Facebook posts or tweets that you can send to your personal or organizational network. Got questions? Email us at

Sample Email Text


Join me for Equity Summit 2011 in Detroit Nov 8-11


Dear (name),

There are millions of us working everyday to bring more hope and opportunity to all Americans. But too often, we are cut off in our corner of the world, unable to connect with and learn from like-minded advocates.

That is why you should join me at Equity Summit 2011 in Detroit.

From November 8-11, my friends at PolicyLink will host thousands of advocates at this wide-ranging, deep-diving summit.

From jobs to transportation to housing to healthy food access to the crisis facing young people of color, Equity Summit 2011 will feature on-the-ground solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing low-income communities and communities of color.

I’ll be there. Will you?

Register now to connect, learn, and blaze a path for change.

Thank you,


I’m joining thousands of advocates at Equity Summit 2011 in Detroit Nov. 8-11 to blaze a path for change. Will you join me?



Can’t wait for @PolicyLink’s Equity Summit 2011, Nov. 8-11 in Detroit. I’ll be there. Will you?

Don’t X Out Public Transportation

Don’t X Out Public Transportation

On Tuesday, September 20th public transit riders, advocates, and employees are joining for a nation-wide event, Don’t X Out Public Transportation.  Rallies are planned for over two dozen cities around the country to call on Congress to support investments public transportation; and also to oppose a proposal from the U.S. House of Representatives that would cut transit funding by more than one third.

Such a drastic cut would likely result in major service cuts and fare increases that would leave millions of Americans, particularly low-income people and communities of color, stranded without transportation options:

    • Nearly 60 percent of households without vehicles have incomes below 80 percent of their region’s median income.
  • Over 27 percent of Latino and 25 percent of African American households in metropolitan areas have no access a vehicle.

Preserving and enhancing our public transportation system is a critical investment for a more inclusive nation.  Visit the Don’t X Out Public Transportation website to get information about joining a rally in your community.  Also, stayed tuned to EquityBlog for additional updates on how you can get engaged in building a more equitable transportation system in America.

One Phone Call For Promise Neighborhoods

One Phone Call For Promise Neighborhoods

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee will vote to determine the future of the Promise Neighborhoods program.

Today, your voice is more crucial than ever. Sen. Tom Harkin – the chairman of that key subcommittee – and Sen. Richard Shelby – the ranking member – need to hear from you

Call Sen. Harkin at 202-224-3254

Call Sen. Shelby at 202-224-5744

Tell Sen. Harkin and Sen. Shelby:

  • Fully Fund the Promise Neighborhoods program at $150 million for FY 2012
  • There is strong support for Promise Neighborhoods across America, and in your community.
  • All children deserve to live in safe, healthy communities, go to a good school, and graduate from college
  • This is a proven, economically pragmatic solution to childhood poverty—we’ve learned from the lessons of the Harlem Children’s Zone
  • If we want America to succeed tomorrow, we need to invest in our children today.

Your voices have been loud and strong. With one phone call, you can help ensure millions of children benefit from the Promise Neighborhoods program.

High-skilled Immigrants Outnumber Low-skilled Ones

High-skilled Immigrants Outnumber Low-skilled Ones

A new report released today by Brookings shows that high-skilled immigrants (those with a college degree or more) now outnumber low-skilled immigrants (those with less than a high school diploma). Check out their chart:

Brookings Immigrant skill chart

But the trend isn’t playing out everywhere in America. While high-skilled immigrants outnumber low-skilled ones in the San Francisco Bay Area and much of the Eastern Seaboard (plus Ohio and Seattle), low-skilled immigrants still dominate throughout the Southwest and Midwest.

Brookings Skills Map

What does this mean for jobs and economic recovery in these communities? How can we get more skills to those who need them?

America’s Boys and Men of Color in a “State of Dire Crisis”

America’s Boys and Men of Color in a “State of Dire Crisis”

Photo Courtesy of Tavis Smiley Presents and

Tonight, PBS will air “Too Important to Fail,” a new prime time special presented by Tavis Smiley that looks at the educational challenges facing African American male youth across the country. The special will feature interviews with educators, policymakers, and young people who, in their own voices, describe myriad obstacles they have and continue to encounter in their pursuit of a quality education.

In a companion blog post to tonight’s special, PolicyLink Founder and CEO Angela Glover Blackwell goes beyond the issue of education to explore other critical problems facing boys and men of color and the communities in which they live – including joblessness, poverty, high incarceration, lack of public transit, and more. According to Blackwell, the path to resolution must start with investments in comprehensive policy solutions that will slash the “opportunity deficit” disparately impacting male and female youth of color today, and end cycles of poverty in low-income communities and communities of color.

Blackwell says:

We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the problems facing low-income people and communities of color, particularly the black and brown youth who will soon constitute the majority. In fact, we have an urgent moral and economic imperative to address them.

In a shifting and competitive global economy, the dearth of quality, meaningful opportunities, combined with persistent obstacles and deficient academic and social supports, risks dismantling the very families and communities that are raising our future skilled workforce.

To slash America’s opportunity deficit, we must start by standing up for new and existing solutions to education, workforce training and job creation that would help shatter cycles of generational poverty by preparing young workers of color for better-paying, long-term jobs of the future.

Read the full piece here on

What did you think of Tavis’ prime time special? After you watch, be sure to visit the comments section below and let us know.