The strength of American cities – and the nation as a whole – depends on generating inclusive growth for people of all races, ethnicities and incomes. Yet even in our most economically vibrant cities, not all residents are benefiting from that growth, resulting in stark racial and economic disparities that are even more extreme in distressed communities. In response, local leaders across the country are trying new strategies to promote inclusive growth. The Shared Prosperity Partnership supports local leaders in select communities who are committed to advancing inclusive growth through data analysis, research, and access to national experts, networks, and financial resources.
Many residents living with low incomes in Arlington County, Virginia face a growing affordability crisis that limits access to housing and childcare. The Arlington Community Foundation’s Shared Prosperity Initiative is engaging nonprofit, government and business leaders to mitigate the displacement of residents with low incomes and enable full participation in Arlington’s economic viability and community.
Systems of racial exclusion – health, economic, education, criminal justice – overlap and drive unacceptable disparities in outcomes in Northeast Ohio. Cleveland-based Fund for Our Economic Future is engaging civic, community and business leaders to develop targeted strategies that promote equitable growth and support Black and Latinx communities living with low incomes. These include increased asset ownership in neighborhoods at risk of gentrification and small business restart supports.
The Chicago Community Trust is committed to confronting and closing the city’s racial and ethnic wealth gap, following decades of systemic racism and disinvestment in Black and Latinx communities. To do this, the Trust is engaging community members, researchers and a variety of stakeholders in shaping a multifaceted, systems-focused approach that addresses homeownership, debt mitigation and wealth creation.
Fresno-based Central Valley Community Foundation is leading the “Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy” (DRIVE) initiative, a 10-year multi-sector economic development plan to close economic gaps in Fresno and build a community where all people can thrive. To narrow stark disparities in wealth and income, DRIVE aims to increase the ability of residents living with low incomes to contribute to and benefit from the region’s economic prosperity.
Kansas City, MO
Through the KC Rising initiative, the KC Civic Council is partnering with community, nonprofit and business leaders to shape a vision for economic inclusion that confronts the decades-long racial wealth gap in the Kansas City region. Strategies include effectively supporting minority entrepreneurship, strengthening the community development finance ecosystem and bridging the digital divide that keeps residents with low incomes from participating fully in an increasingly online economy.
Black and Latinx Memphians face some of the highest rates of inequality and poverty nationwide. The Kresge Foundation is partnering with a coalition of Memphis-based organizations to align regional stakeholders to strengthen the city’s community and economic development ecosystem. The partnership is also working to enhance the region’s capacity to track and drive inclusive economic outcomes.
MKE United, led by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, is a comprehensive planning process to create a shared vision to spur equitable economic growth in Downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods through sustained community engagement. Growth strategies include increased capital flow to disinvested neighborhoods, investment in commercial corridors and mitigating resident displacement.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Minneapolis-St. Paul based Center for Economic Inclusion seeks to shape meaningful economic opportunity through increased employment, income and wealth-creation for all residents. The Center stewarded the development of a cross-sector vision and shared values to create a more inclusive economy. It continues this work through strengthening the region’s civic infrastructure and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence market forces to catalyze shared prosperity. Strategies included deepened supports for small, mid-sized and women-owned businesses.