All people want the same things: to earn, learn, and belong. 

But not everyone experiences the equitable systemic supports needed to achieve this. National Poverty in America Awareness is observed each January by spotlighting one of the most pervasive and persistent problems in society. This year’s observance is more vital given the devastation in families and communities throughout the country due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic upheaval.  

Racially based poverty that is deeply embedded in all levels of society is particularly problematic. Tackling the complex barriers to socioeconomic mobility (SEM) requires thoughtful and sustained strategies, which is why the Alliance and the Council on Accreditation (COA) work to identify opportunities for collective action that are grounded in racial equity and multigenerational approaches to family and community success. The Alliance and COA strategic action network includes community-based organizations (CBOs) that co-create mutually reinforcing solutions that increase the opportunities for all Americans to reach their full potential. They do this by employing innovative and sustainable practices, such as asset-based community development, food- and wellness-based systems change, neighborhood-created resource development, and a racial lens for effective school-based interventions.

Collaboration and shared goals are necessary to create lasting change. 
Impacting the root causes of poverty and amplifying opportunity takes intentionality and commitment between human and social sector CBOs, foundations, government entities, and all of those who make up the human and social sector ecosystem. Several strategies have clear urgency for the Alliance and COA in 2021:

Browse the resources below to learn how organizations big and small are reducing economic inequality and racism.

  • Download examples from the Alliance Library of how CBOs across the country are working with residents and cross-sector partners to improve health, well-being, and financial security for individuals and families. 
  • Follow the research and examine studies from the field on what works:
    • Principles and Innovations to Drive Family Prosperity, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, June 2020 
      This report details principles and solutions that can advance the economic success and well-being of children and families; highlights insights and solutions coming out of Family Prosperity project; and shares innovative approaches being used by employers and implemented through local, state, and federal policy.  
    • Connections Among Poverty, Incarceration, and Inequality, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 2020 
      Policy changes that have criminalized social problems such as homelessness, mental illness, and drug or alcohol problems—all disproportionately experienced by people of color—have also perpetuated poverty and racial inequality across generations.  
    • The Economic Impact of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, McKinsey & Company, August 2019 
      New research quantifies the positive impact on the U.S. economy of closing the wealth gap for Black families and identifies key sources of this socioeconomic inequity which contributes to intergenerational economic precariousness. 
    • Jeremiah Program
      A two-generational initiative to disrupt the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training.