We believe that the success of America’s cities, and the people who live in them, is inextricably connected to the future prospects for all Americans. And, today, as leaders and communities come together in new ways, there are enormous opportunities to restore our cities’ vibrancy by transforming systems to produce more equitable outcomes in education, employment, mobility, health, and housing.
The majority of low-income people in America’s cities are people of color. Communities of color disproportionately lack access to opportunity – from quality education, to good jobs and decent wages. And, today, our nation stands on the precipice of a demographic shift that will see people of color become the majority of American citizens. Unless we dramatically change the trajectory of inequalities in income, wealth and access to opportunity, the majority of our citizens will be less educated, less wealthy, and less free than the current majority. The simple fact is that racial inequities have for too long led to stark disparities in what is expected of each of us, and what we believe is possible.
In order to achieve dramatically different results for people of color, we need to scale equitable opportunities and ensure social and economic inclusion. And, as a nation, we need to make these efforts a deeper and more intentional part of our strategy.
We are in the early stages of this work and are asking ourselves questions such as:
- What does having an explicit focus on racial equity and inclusion mean for our work?
- How might we change?
- How might we double-down on some of the things that we are already doing?
- How can we learn from and work with others grappling with these questions?
We are still working to answer these questions and will be sharing our learning as we go. We know that the process might, as many conversations about race do, get difficult and messy. However, we believe that it will make us a stronger organization – and one that dares to acknowledge the weight of history, to confront what is today, and to imagine what could be.