Art as "Survival Technology," Post-Katrina and Beyond

"Art is inseparable from who we are," says New Orleans–based artist and Creative Change alumnus Brandan Odums. "For the creators in New Orleans, art has always been a way to create a sense of survival, to create a sense of response, and to turn struggle into beauty."


Tackling Racial Bias Requires Multi-layered Solutions

This blog post was authored by Summer 2015 Home Opportunity Intern, Alexander Adames.

Ferguson Protest, by flickr user velo_city

Our nation’s Founding Fathers declared that all Americans are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, in its earlier years, that statement excluded women and people of color. Nonetheless, we have made great progress by extending rights to women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, and the LGTBQ+ community. We have worked towards passing legislation that protects many Americans from discrimination. Now, though we have come a long way, we must acknowledge that there are still some measures that the American government must undertake to protect and serve its citizens. After all, this nation was founded in the name of the people and we must keep true to that value. We all deserve the right to safety and protection. If we deny our fellow Americans this right, then we deny their opportunity at life, liberty, and an equal opportunity to realize their full potential.


The Voting Rights Act at 50

Nineteen sixty-five arrived to find America in the midst of a cultural revolution. Brown v. Board of Education, which helped to dissipate the stains of the “separate but equal doctrine,” was already eleven years old. The Civil Rights Act had been passed a year earlier. However, many racialized practices still tainted the fabric of American society. Thus, that year saw one of the most important advancements made in pursuance of racial equality: the passage of the Voting Rights Act.


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.


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