This year, we're using our annual report to curate tools created by innovators on the front lines of social change. This practitioner-focused toolbox collects a range of free resources to help you disrupt the status quo and double down on what works, right here and right now.

Today, we’re excited to announce our 2015 annual report, #HereAndNow: The New Urban Practice Toolbox.

In our previous annual report, we asked our member institutions and other partners in the social change field to respond to this question: “What will it take to dramatically improve the lives of low-income people, faster?” Throughout 2015, we received answers to this question from literally all over the United States. And at our #NewUrbanPractice Summit in May, we brought together leaders, dreamers, and doers from across sectors and the nation to tackle this same question.

Our #NewUrbanPractice Summit

We found that leaders across America are deeply unsatisfied with the incremental pace of change. In fact, many are already taking innovative steps to transform the lives of low-income people. Many of the solutions needed to tackle the biggest problems that low-income people face—in education, jobs, and elsewhere—are already being developed and tested around the country. A dramatically different future is taking shape in cities, but these changes remain unevenly distributed.

That’s why our 2015 Annual Report is focused on spreading and scaling what works. The time is now to pivot from concept and conversation to action. The Report brings together a host of practical tools and resources—some from Living Cities, some from our partners—that anyone can use to disrupt the status quo and double down on what works, right here and right now.

“The time is now to pivot from concept and conversation to action.”

The #HereAndNow Toolbox is oriented around six thematic areas that correspond to the core elements of the #NewUrbanPractice: Cultivating and Connecting Leaders, Expanding Impact Investing, Advancing Racial Equity and Inclusion, Doubling Down on Data and Results, Engaging Community, and Harnessing Technology.

Public will for moving the needle on key issues like racial inequality and raising the minimum wage is at a boiling point. We hope that this suite of tools can help enable local and national leaders to achieve the lasting, meaningful change that our cities desperately need.

Whether you’re an executive at a community foundation, an entrepreneur running a social enterprise, or a change-maker on the front lines of city government, we think you can find something of value in this battle-tested toolchest.

Do you frequently collaborate with partners across sectors, but keep hitting snags when the time comes to get things done? Our cross-sector assessment tool helps you reflect on your partnership and provides immediate, tailored feedback to help you and your partners get better results, faster.

Are you working in a city government that wants to figure out ways to embed racial equity in the way your department operates, but aren’t sure where to start? Consult the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Guidelines for Authentic Conversations About Race to kick-start the process.

Everybody has a role to play, and there are more and more ways to contribute and lead. The time for action is now, so dive in. To get involved:

  • Use the tools. Dig into the Toolbox and start to experiment!
  • Share with your networks. Let others in your network know about the Toolbox using the hashtag #HereAndNow.
  • Tell your story. Let us know how you have used pieces of the Toolbox in your work. We might even feature your testimonial on the #HereAndNow Toolbox website!
  • Suggest other tools. No one organization has the answers we need to improve the lives of low-income people. That’s why we want to hear from you: Are there tools, videos, documents, or other resources that you think are missing from this toolbox? Let us know!

Together, we can build the #NewUrbanPractice that America needs.