As our philanthropic community prepares to deploy strategies to effect generational poverty we need to understand what core causes we need to attack to prepare for success.
Many of our charitable organizations efforts to collect toys and do nice things for children which is also a core focus of our charity make donors feel good but might not be the issues we should really focus on.
I want to share our perspective on what statistics show to be the most important items to consider when we are focusing on empowering our children to overcome generational poverty:
Access to early childhood education and preschool – our My scholarship impact can help kids get early education which is key to their development
Access to quality life and career readiness opportunities – our My upward mobility projects can help middle school to post secondary kids to gain experiences that will allow them to develop networks and experiences that can create vision for their futures
Parent engagement – the ideal would be two parents married living in the same home – clearly that isn’t always the case and several of our families aren’t in that place but if we can find opportunities to maintain 2 parents nurturing engagement in their children’s activities regardless of the family situation studies show the children have more opportunity and confidence in their futures – we have not established any initiatives here but we will be compiling a list of groups to lift up
Parent readiness – the ideal would be not to engage in activity that would lead to childbirth – clearly that isn’t always the world we live in but engagement of parents, doctors, education in the late elementary to post secondary stages of childhood is important and there are preferred birth control methods that statistics clearly show can prevent unprepared pregnancy – we have not established any initiatives here but we will be compiling a list of groups to lift up
Trust bridges – we are segregated by income, race, wealth, capital, education, etc. To do anything about this communities that need to be lifted up will require trusted community leaders to connect to engaged intentional leaders that are not from the community to impact change. All of our initiatives and those of any other organizations we would lift up will need to develop plans to make sure we can impact change in those communities that create opportunity that will empower parents, children, community members. My corporate impact allows our corporations to be creative and nimble as they participate in our attack of generational poverty. Our churches and other charities need to stay focused in the same way.
Business – hire for skills and not for resumes wherever possible to each the underemployed in underdeveloped communities
Government – policy changes – not a core focus of our work
1) continue to focus on criminal justice disparities by race as we continue to miss black fathers to help with generational poverty – including sentence terms based upon “race”, lighter sentence terms for non violent crimes, etc.
2) Affordable housing – we need more opportunities and we need a plan that doesn’t oppress criminals that have already served sentences but allows them to be part of the community again
3) deal with the benefits cliff and allow the empowerment of our parents to continue to progress in their careers with a gradual reduction in benefits as they pursue a working affordable wage
Dale Gillmore, February 9, 2017