Partner News – Netroots Nation, Katrina Anniversary and More

Earlier this month, many of the Opportunity Agenda’s partners, Communications Fellows, and Creative Change alumni took Netroots Nation by storm. In Phoenix, Arizona they gave engaging performances, spoke on panels, and joined progressives from all over the country in #BlackLivesMatter and immigration protests. Additionally, in the run up to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, our partners in the Gulf Coast have been working hard to ensure that the commemorations focus on amplifying the voices of those most affected by the tragedy.


Fair Housing Victory Brings America Closer to Equal Opportunity for All

It’s a rare moment when two branches of our federal government take major steps to expand opportunity for all Americans.  But, with relatively little fanfare, that’s what’s happened over the last few weeks in the critical area of housing.


Partner News: Introducing our 2015 Fellows!

This month, the Opportunity Agenda welcomed an amazing cohort of 17 fellows to our criminal justice initiative. The 2015 Communications Institute wrapped up less than three weeks ago, but this year’s fellows are already making waves in the criminal justice community. After four days of intensive communications training in New York City, they have returned home to continue their fight for the rights of the formerly-incarcerated, those currently behind bars, and those otherwise affected by the criminal justice system. Here’s what they’ve been up to:


DOJ Shouldn't Wait for the Next Crisis in Policing

The Department of Justice was investigating the Cleveland Police Department for systemic civil rights abuses while simultaneously funding it. What's wrong with this picture?

by Diego Iniguez-Lopez and Alan Jenkins


Housing Policy Key to Freddie Gray’s Baltimore—and the City’s Future

cc Flickr user "urbanfeel"

“What happens to a dream deferred?” asked Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load,” he opined. “Or does it explode?”

We saw the answer in late April, when the deferred dream of equal justice and opportunity exploded in Baltimore.


Partner News: Creative Strategies in the Gulf Coast and Beyond

As the summer draws near, hundreds of activists and artists across the Gulf Coast are preparing creative mobilizations in response to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.


Webinar: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Our new report, “Realizing the Promise: How to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing,” discusses strategies for affirmatively furthering fair housing and expanding equal opportunity for all. On April 1, 2015, Eva-Marie Malone, Diego Iniguez-Lopez, and Alan Jenkins partnered with Enterprise Community Partners to present the report in a live webinar, sharing best practices, lessons learned and tested strategies for affirmatively furthering fair housing, fostering integrated and inclusive communities and expanding equal opportunity for all.


A Heroic Evening

There are signs all around us that this is our moment.  That Americans are more ready for transformative, positive change than at any time in generations.  And the value of Opportunity—and The Opportunity Agenda—are at the leading edge of that change.


Maternal Roots of Social Justice

 

I’ve been thinking about writing about faith and social justice for a while now, because I believe there’s a strong connection for many, because it is both the entry point and the sustainer of interest for many, and because I’m impatient with the “claiming” of faith by conservatives. This is not that blog post, however.

 

In thinking about that topic, I’ve come to the realization that my belief in social justice has an even more basic source - my mother. My mother’s reply to plaintive wails of “That’s not fair!” was simple and complicated - “What are you going to do about it?”


Baltimore - So Much More than The Wire

This guest post was co-authored by Debby Goldberg, Vice-President for Housing Policy & Special Projects at the National Fair Housing Alliance and Eva-Marie Malone, Economic Opportunity Coordinator at The Opportunity Agenda.

We all want and deserve to live in diverse, thriving communities in which our opportunities are not circumscribed by our zip code. “About a quarter of Baltimore residents live below the poverty line. The unemployment rate in zip code 21217, where the riots broke out on Monday, was 19.1% in 2011.” The unemployment rate in Roland Park, a suburban area of Baltimore, was 5.2%. Communities built on values of equality and opportunity would be the realization of the American Dream in which we all believe.


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