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Program at a Glance

Mission: To identify, test and help sustain pathways out of poverty for low-income people and communities.


Improving Community Education

Goal: To ensure that community education serves as a pathway out of poverty for children in low-income communities.

Objectives/What We Seek:

  • Community-Driven Reform. Effective community-driven reform strategies that increase student achievement across entire school districts and at the state or regional level.
  • Educational Opportunities for Vulnerable Youth. Policies and practices that ensure that vulnerable youth are prepared for college and careers.
  • Learning Beyond the Classroom. High quality learning beyond the classroom initiatives that increase student success by providing students with multiple ways of learning, anchored to high standards and aligned with educational resources throughout a community.

Expanding Economic Opportunity

Goal: To expand opportunity for those in, or at risk of, persistent poverty by promoting policies and programs that increase income and assets, help people connect to the labor market, and enable them to advance into better-quality, higher-paying jobs.

Objectives/What We Seek:

  • Income Security. A social safety net that augments families’ efforts to escape poverty.
  • Reducing Barriers to Employment. Innovative strategies that enable low-skill, low-income job seekers to enter the labor market.
  • Retention and Wage Progression. Workforce development policies and practices that help low-income workers stay in the labor market and increase their earnings over time.

Building Organized Communities

Goal: To enhance the power and effectiveness of the community-organizing field in order to strengthen and sustain the involvement of low-income communities in shaping their futures.

Objective/What We Seek:

  • Building Infrastructure. Strong and effective community-organizing networks at the national, regional and state levels that foster community engagement and positive change in poor communities.

Special Initiatives

Goal: To sustain promising practices and promote innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to reduce persistent poverty.

Objectives/What We Seek:

  • Transitions. Policies and practices that strengthen micro-enterprise in the U.S. in order to maximize its potential as a means for low-income entrepreneurs to escape from poverty.
  • Exploratory and Special Projects. Flexibility to identify critical issues, seize special opportunities, research issues to determine future program directions and promote crosscutting projects.
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