Communities Foundation of Texas hosted a workshop on Advancing Economic Opportunity in Dallas on October 15 at its Dallas location.
The organization live streamed the event on its Facebook page. You can view the videos by visiting its page here.
The workshop included a panel on “Moving Beyond the Data: Community-based Solutions to Address the Wealth Gap” featuring Alfreda Norman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Byron Sanders of Big Thought, Anne Motsenbocker of JPMorgan Chase Bank, Sarah Cotton Nelson of CFT, and Dedrick Asante Muhammad of Prosperity Now and a lunch plenary session highlighting Five Years of KERA’s One Crisis Away, featuring Rick Holter, Vice President of News for KERA.
The last panel of the day was titled “What is Working in North Texas”. The panel focused on case studies with Dena Jackson (Dallas Women’s Foundation) and Samantha Moya (Educational First Steps) discussing Bridge Fund, Yvette Ruiz (JPMorgan Chase Bank) and Andrea Glispie (United Way of Metropolitan Dallas) discussing Pathways to Work, Wende Burton (CFT) and Pam Mahaney (St. Vincent de Paul) discussing the Mini-Loan Program, and Yvette Ruiz and Ben Leal (Jubilee Park & Community Center) discussing Housing.
In an assessment on Dallas Economic Opportunity published in March of this year and created by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Communities Foundation of Texas’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, Sarah Cotton Nelson, shared the following statement:
While we have many resources as a region, we also face many obstacles and barriers that limit the upward mobility of our residents. Dallas County has high levels of geographic segregation by race-ethnicity, income, educational attainment and wealth. What this means for low-to-moderate income Dallas residents – and for people of color who are disproportionately represented in that category – is that where they live profoundly influences their access to opportunity. Because access to quality schools, health care, good paying jobs and safe neighborhoods are increasingly interrelated, it is more and more difficult for individuals to overcome barriers to opportunity on their own.
Nelson concluded with “We hope that this report and the discussions and actions that it fosters fuel the
creative solutions and strategies needed to help our community move forward.”