Equal opportunity is a core national value, and Americans strongly believe that it should not be hindered by race, gender, ethnicity, or other aspects of who we are. However, while inequalities persist across a range of issues, the public is increasingly skeptical of the existence of racial discrimination in particular. We need new and better ways to talk about equal opportunity and diversity, and the barriers that hamper them.

We work closely with partners to develop effective strategies to engage the public and move policymakers around racial justice issues.  Using recent public opinion research, partner insight and experience, and attention to current narratives, we build values-based messages, organize communications strategies, and formulate policy suggestions.  Our work on issues related to racial justice include education, voting, access to housing and health care, asset building, and affirmative action.

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Blog Post Looking Back, Looking Forward, and Seeing Hope

On April 18, more than 200 friends of The Opportunity Agenda came together at the Creative Change Awards to reconnect, laugh, reflect, learn, celebrate, conspire, and get down.

They walked away with new ideas and a renewed sense of possibility (and with their very own racism decoder rings and copies of Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte’s incredible new book, When We Fight We Win). The event marked a decade of accomplishments for The Opportunity Agenda, and provided a window into the organization’s vision for the next 10 years.

Apr 26 2016
Blog Post Partner News: Big Ideas and New Narratives from the Opportunity Agenda Community

Spring has been busy for The Opportunity Agenda’s community. Where you see big ideas and ground-breaking culture, The Opportunity Agenda’s partners and Fellows aren’t hard to find.





Mar 29 2016
Blog Post 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.

Aug 13 2015
Blog Post 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.

Jul 24 2015
Blog Post 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.

May 1 2015
Page Resources for Talking about Policing and Racial Justice

Click the image to watch the video

We’re proud to partner with Sankofa.org in support of Usher’s new song and interactive video experience "Chains," a powerful statement on racial injustice and the violence affecting African Americans.

Apr 14 2015
Page A Social Justice Moment

 As we anticipate the President’s upcoming announcement on immigration and the Ferguson grand jury decision, we face a real moment of opportunity in the social justice world.  This is a chance to forward a narrative of interconnectedness and unity, for groups to speak in support of each other, and to link constituencies.  Talking about unity won't be the inclination of media seeking disagreement and strife, but it's a narrative that will ultimately work in the favor of advancing social justice over the long term, ultimately moving the groups we all care about forward.

Nov 21 2014
Blog Post The Voice & Vision of Maya Angelou

Musings from members of our community about the impact of Dr. Maya Angelou on their lives, dreams, and creativity.

A Young Girl, Grabbing Life by the Lapels, by Eva-Marie Malone

It feels like a contradiction to mourn the passing of Dr. Angelou, because unlike many other well-known people who are gone, her life doesn’t seem incomplete. Often, the first response to the loss of someone famous is to imagine “what might have been” or what else they might have accomplished. Everything about Dr. Angelou’s life and writing felt complete.  Although this transition feels like a personal loss to many of us, her impact continues to resonate and breathe for all of us. 

Jun 2 2014
Blog Post From Angie Zapata to Laverne Cox

Sitting in a cab on my way to the airport, after facilitating a full-day communications workshop in Mississippi, I flipped through a magazine mindlessly. Suddenly an advertising insert from a department store caught my eye. It was Barneys' campaign featuring exclusively transgender models, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters. My thoughts immediately flashed back to 2009 when I was working at GLAAD and was focused on increasing Spanish language media coverage on Angie Zapata’s story. Angie was an 18-year-old from Colorado who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher after her date found out she had been assigned a male identity at birth. The case drew national attention as one of the first in which a hate crime law was applied in a murder trial where the victim was transgender.

May 20 2014
Blog Post Why the Sterlings Matter

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling doubled down on bigotry this week, disparaging NBA icon Magic Johnson for his HIV positive status, and saying that Johnson and other African-American entrepreneurs have done little to assist the black community. Sterling’s latest rantings made clear the depth of his personal prejudices, and that his racist remarks on a surreptitiously recorded telephone call were no anomaly.

May 16 2014
Blog Post Will Wearing 'Suits and Ties' Make African-American Boys Safe?

Image from the video "Suit and Tie in the 217" (Tiffany Gholson/YouTube)

Inspired by Justin Timberlake’s song “Suit and Tie,” the African-American boys of Illinois Central High School created their own video for the song in an effort to debunk racial stereotypes around young black males. This reinforces the idea that they must embrace traditional Western business attire. The video begins with a group of African-American boys walking through the entryway of their high school garbed in suits, ties, pressed dress pants and cardigan sweaters. Their body language as they stroll through the school halls shows confidence, assertiveness and, most importantly, self-control. Subtitles throughout the video offer positive self-reflection statements like, “we are scholars, and we are athletes.” However, does the video model what we would ideally like our young black men to demonstrate and norms they should adhere to?

May 13 2014
Blog Post Is There A Problem? Racial Profile Cases Take Center Stage in the City of New York

Barneys New York was accused of racial profiling 19-year-old Trayon Christian, an engineering student of Queens, NY, and 21 year old nursing student and Brooklyn native Kayla Phillps who alleged that they were harassed by undercover cops after purchasing merchandise. Christian, said that he knew exactly what he wanted before stepping foot into the upscale retailer on April 29. He coveted for a Ferragamo belt with a silver buckle and reversible black and white strap, which was seen being worn by popular hip hop rapper “Juelz Santana. Two months prior, Phillips was approached by undercover officers after purchasing at $2500.00 orange suede Céline handbag.

Oct 30 2013
Blog Post In Trayvon’s Name: Tools for Turning Outrage to Action

Photo courtesy of Flickr/David Shankbone (CC-BY-2.0) 

A Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin has sparked protests around the nation and a highly personal statement from President Obama. One of the protesters’ demands is for an investigation of whether Trayvon Martin’s killing violated federal civil rights laws, and the U.S. Justice Department is reportedly investigating that possibility.

Jul 22 2013
Page Messaging Guidance: African-American Men and Boys

Improving Media Coverage and Public Perceptions of
African-American Men and Boys

Download messaging memo (PDF)

Learn more about The Opportunity Agenda's work on Opportunity for Black Men and Boys

May 9 2013
Blog Post A Silver Lining in the Juvenile Justice System

Photo courtesy of the Justice Policy Institute

This article was originally published at the Justice Policy Institute

The string of shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek last year would make some reconsider establishing ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies in several violence-ridden U.S. cities. Most recently, an article by The Chicago Tribune’s Stephanie D. Neely on March 1, claimed that stop-and-frisk policies are needed in an attempt to curb gun violence in Chicago. According to Neely, 2,600 shooting incidents were reported to the Chicago Police Department, of which 400 resulted in homicide.

Mar 8 2013
Page Messages for Supreme Court Case on Affirmative Action Fisher v. University of Texas

Download memo here (PDF)

Read this document via Scribd.

Oct 4 2012
Blog Post Changing Stereotypes in Wake of Tragedy

The Opportunity Agenda hosted the panel "Learning from Trayvon." Photo courtesy of Ivy Ashe/The Vineyard Gazette

By Katie Ruppel  

Read original article here (PDF)

Music videos, movies, the Internet and the news have embedded the stereotypes of African American men as dangerous and violent in society, said the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee, at a forum on Friday afternoon.

“If we look at media in general and live off of what the mass media serves up about black men, you might arrive on the Vineyard in particular and think you are on another planet,” Mrs. Lee said in her opening remarks. “What do I mean by that? On the Vineyard you see black fathers with their children and their wives. And wait for it... they have jobs. This is not the impression that you get from media day-to-day in America.”

Aug 23 2012
Page TELEBRIEFING: Public Opinion and Media Analysis on the Intersection of LGBT and Race Issues

TELEBRIEFING: Public Opinion and Media Analysis on the Intersection of LGBT and Race Issues

National Telebriefing
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Click here to RSVP

Please join The Opportunity Agenda for a presentation of new public opinion research and analysis of media coverage on the intersection of LGBT and race issues.

Aug 21 2012
Blog Post Arizonans Widely Support the DREAM Act In Contrast to Governor Brewer's Stance

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Photo by Resolution Copper (Flickr, All Rights Reserved)

Andrew Johnson contributed to this post

On August 16, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to block state benefits, including driver licenses for recipients of Deferred Action--a new federal government program that reflects the goals of the Dream Act to temporarily delay deportation for undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently 30 years old or younger.

Despite the Governor’s claim that this is what the citizens of Arizona want, nearly three-quarters of Arizonans (73%), regardless of their race, ethnicity and party affiliation support the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from college or serve in the military to become U.S. citizens (Marist Poll, April 2012).


Aug 17 2012
Page Equal Justice and Public Safety: Promoting an End to Racial Profiling

Click here to download memo

This memo offers messaging advice for demanding an end to racial profiling and promoting policies that advance equal justice and public safety. It is intended for communications to “persuadables,” meaning people who are not yet reliably with us, but can be persuaded through compelling arguments.

Main Messaging Goals and Themes

We recommend that communications about this issue emphasize the following themes:

Jul 6 2012
Blog Post Opportunity Impact Statement: Ensuring an Economy that Works


Americans prioritize finding solutions for our economy and job creation, and it is clear that we need an economy that works for all of us. This means building the jobs and the infrastructure that will create equal opportunities for success for all Americans. In order to make smart and necessary decisions about how and where we spend our money, we need to evaluate the impact of spending, while also honoring our commitment to avoid engaging in discrimination.

Apr 24 2012
Blog Post Trayvon Martin's Tragic Killing, through the Media Looking Glass

This op-ed was originally published by McClatchy  

The mainstream media have played a mostly positive role in covering the tragic and senseless killing of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed, 17-year-old African-American boy shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. After a slow start, reporters have uncovered new facts and asked tough questions, including about Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee's refusal to arrest Trayvon's killer.

Apr 2 2012
Page Public Opinion Monthly (March 2012)

Public Opinion Monthly: Equal Opportunity and the Role of Government

By: Jill Mizell

Mar 27 2012
Blog Post Connections Between Media Depictions of Black Men and Boys and Lower Life Chances

While there has been significant improvement in racial attitudes in the past half-century, the tragic death of Trayvon Martin suggests that stereotypes and bias against African Americans, especially males, still persist. The Opportunity Agenda’s new report, "Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption," lays out evidence that African-American men and boys are grossly overrepresented in depictions of criminality and violence in the media, as compared to documented reality. These false portrayals, reasearch proves, can lead to distorted and negative perceptions as well as discriminatory treatment against African Americans.

Mar 22 2012
Blog Post Will growing poverty affect election 2012? An interview and new national poll.

On January 17th, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity hosted a great forum in Washington, D.C. with pollsters—Celinda Lake, Jim McGlaglin and others—, members of the press and political analysts, including E.J. Dionne and Michael Gerson, to discuss whether and how growing poverty will affect the election in 2012. Following the event, I was interviewed to address that very question.

Jan 27 2012
Page Literature Review: Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys

This social science literature review focuses on the question of how media, and communications more broadly, affect outcomes for black men and boys in American society. The summary is intended to offer communicators — who come to the review with a wide range of backgrounds and depth of knowledge on the topic — a digestible overview of an extremely rich and varied body of research. It reviews a significant set of materials, representing many of the key approaches and themes that characterize the scholarship as a whole.

Dec 8 2011
Page Media Market Research: Media Consumption Trends Among Black Men

This study analyzed African-American men’s media consumption habits. It investigates a wide range of national and regional media platforms to provide insights into how African-American men consume media. It identified which media sources are likely to have the greatest impact on the thinking and attitudes of this segment of the American population and offers a series of recommendations about where interventions may be most fruitful.

Dec 8 2011
Page Public Opinion Research Related to Black Male Achievement

This analysis provides an overview of some central themes emerging from public opinion research regarding understandings of black male achievement, awareness of racial disparities, and the causes of and responsibility for addressing them. It is intended to offer communicators a synthesis of key ideas that exist in public understanding that can either derail the conversation or move it forward.

Dec 8 2011
Page Media Images and Public Opinion on Black Men and Boys

Media Images and Public Opinion on Black Men and Boys 

READ ALSO: A Moment of Opportunity - Transforming the Criminal Justice System 

Images of black men and boys in the media overall are a distortion of reality in a variety of ways, as extensive audits conducted by scholars and researchers over the years show.

Dec 8 2011
Blog Post Percentage thinking the US has fulfilled MLK Jr.’s vision drops to pre-Obama election levels; what happened?

When Barack Obama was running for President in April of 2008, slightly more than a third of the adults in the US thought that the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. as outlined in his “I Have a Dream” speech, had been fulfilled.  Just before Obama was sworn in as President in January of 2009, the perception that the King vision had already been fulfilled had swelled to nearly half of all adults in the US.  Perceptions of African Americans improved dramatically during this period increasing 30 points to 65% between April 2008 and January 2009.

Aug 25 2011
Blog Post Spotlight on the U.S.-Mexico Border

While we’re spending our federal funds on policies that threaten both human rights at the border and judicial and prosecutorial safeguards, is there room for us to reaffirm our commitment to human dignity and due process? 

May 26 2010
Blog Post Dr. Rand Paul or: How I Learned To Fear the Tea Party

When Rand Paul won a primary last Tuesday, becoming Kentucky’s Republican nominee for the Senate, he declared himself a national leader of the Tea Party movement.  It was an important moment for the movement as it, coming on the heels of the election of Scott Brown to the Senate, served as another step in its potential transformation from a loosely confederated group of grassroots groups into national level political force.  But, as Dr. Paul’s attacks on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just two days later highlighted, the true implications of the movement’s ideology are chilling to say the least.  

May 25 2010
Blog Post Women Hold Up Half the Sky

In light of International Women’s Day and the 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on Tuesday, March 9th, the Urban Agenda’s Human Rights Project, The National Council on Research for Women and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership joined together with The Opportunity Agenda to hold a side event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Mar 12 2010
Law and Policy Reforming HUD's Regulations to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing

As a crucial steppingstone to opportunity, fair and affordable housing for all of America’s communities is core to The Opportunity Agenda’s mission. We, therefore, applaud HUD’s efforts to revitalize its duty to administer all housing and community development programs “in a manner affirmatively to further the policies of [the Fair Housing Act].” Attached are our recommendations, and proposed model regulatory language, for changes to HUD’s existing affirmatively further fair housing (“AFFH”) regulations.

Mar 11 2010
Blog Post A Government that Reflects America's Values

According to a 2007 poll, Americans define human rights as the rights to equal opportunity, freedom from discrimination, a fair criminal justice system, and freedom from torture or abuse by law enforcement. Despite the current political wrangling over how to reform it, a majority of Americans even believe that access to health care is a human right.

Mar 5 2010
Blog Post Talking About Racial Equity in the Age of Obama

A unique challenge faces advocates for meaningful dialogue on racial inequality and injustice in America. As people of color have made even modest gains in education, economic security, and professional opportunities over the past few decades, some Americans have increasingly insisted that racial discrimination is largely a thing of the past. Today that sentiment is more widespread and vocal than ever, just a few days after what would have been Dr.

Jan 20 2010
Page Public Opinion Monthly (January 2010)

A year after the first African American was elected to the office of the  President of the United States, political scientists and pollsters have examined closely racial and voting attitudes to shed light to the 2008 election, and Americans' state of mind about race in general.

Jan 20 2010
Communications Talking Points: Ten Lessons for Talking About Racial Equity in the Age of Obama (2010)

RaceInAgeofObama.pngExperience from around the country shows that discussing racial inequity and promoting racial justice are particularly challenging today. Some Americans have long been skeptical about the continued existence of racial discrimination and unequal opportunity. But with the historic election of an African American president, that skepticism is more widespread and more vocal than ever.

Jan 20 2010
Blog Post Reid, Race, and Reality

So who even uses the word “Negro” anymore, much less the phrase “Negro dialect”?  Apparently Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a conversation with reporters before Barack Obama became president. 

Jan 12 2010
Blog Post High-Stakes of Stupak-Pitts Amendment for Women of Color

A few Saturdays ago, on November 7th, I was at the annual SisterSong meeting, a gathering of about 300 reproductive justice advocates. What was exhilarating and unusual about this meeting was that the vast majority of people attending were women of color who are focused on gender and sexuality issues. This was a fantastic event that showcased and harnessed the power of women of color, a group often portrayed as politically and socially marginalized.

Nov 24 2009
Blog Post Racial Segregation in U.S. Schools: Illinois Terminates Chicago’s Desegregation Decree

All people should have the opportunity to succeed in life, regardless of their race. But a recent Illinois district court decision jeopardizes that possibility.

Nov 23 2009
Page Public Opinion Monthly (November 2009)

November Roundup:

Suspects of Terrorism and Due Process
Race in the Age of Obama

This month’s insight into the public mind is on rights for suspects of terrorism and due process, and racial attitudes in the age of Obama, a topic which we will continue to track and analyze here over time.

Nov 19 2009
Page Our Executive Director Writes in The American Prospect

Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda, writes in The American Prospect on how continued racial barriers hold back our economy.

Aug 17 2009
Blog Post Race and Law Enforcement: What We Do Know

Only two people know what actually went down between Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley last week, and even they disagree—apparently in good faith—about what transpired. So as the two prepare to have a beer with President Obama later this week, let’s move on to a more productive conversation about race and law enforcement.

Jul 28 2009
Blog Post Robert McNamara: A Case Study in Redemption

The recent passing of Robert McNamara provides us with a critical opportunity to reflect on redemption, one of our most deeply held values.  As an architect of the Vietnam War, McNamara is inextricably linked to one of the most controversial events in recent U.S. foreign policy.  For some, the War, particularly its brutality, will be Mr. McNamara's only legacy.  To others, though, he serves as a powerful example of the human capacity to change and grow.

Jul 7 2009
Law and Policy Brief of The Opportunity Agenda as Amicus Curiae in Ricci v. DeStefano (2009)

The Opportunity Agenda filed an amicus brief  with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Ricci v. DeStefano.  In this case, the City of New Haven, CT, declined to certify the results of a firefighter promotion test based on evidence that the test was discriminatory in its operation, and fairer and more effective tests were available.  Firefighters who scored highly on the flawed test sued the city, claiming that throwing out the test discriminated against them based on their race.

May 10 2009
Communications Toolkit: Talking About American Opportunity (2006)

TOOLKITTOUTHOME_0.JPGThis toolkit represents the best thinking about how to use the Opportunity Frame from the communications professionals at the SPIN Project, the leaders of The Opportunity Agenda, other communications professionals engaged in defining the Opportunity Frame, and grassroots leaders from across the country working on critically important issues. 

May 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: Closing the Racial Gap in Economic Opportunity (2009)

The guidance in this memo is designed primarily for communications between experts of color and policymakers, as well as “opinion leaders.” It is intended to inspire “persuadables” to make changes in policy and practice that will close the racial wealth gap, rather than to rally our base of existing supporters. The guidance draws on recent opinion research, media analysis, and experience from the field to offer promising approaches and messages.

Apr 20 2009
Research Report: Dangerous and Unlawful: Why Our Health Care System is Failing New York Communities and How to Fix It (2007)

dangerousUnlawful.pngThis report offers new and crucial information to the Governor and the Legislature as they consider what steps to take to ensure access to quality health care for everyone in the State.

Apr 15 2009
Communications Talking Points: The State of Opportunity Report (2009)

This memo offers guidance for using the 2009 State of Opportunity in America report, which examines various dimensions of opportunity, including health care, wealth and income, education, and incarceration. While expanding opportunity in America remains a goal of policymakers and advocates alike, this report finds that access to full and equal opportunity is still very much a mixed reality. Our recommendations to address this reality offer concrete ideas for moving us forward together.

Apr 15 2009
Research Book: All Things Being Equal (2007)

1695.cover__1.jpgThe Opportunity Agenda's first book, All Things Being Equal, documents critical ideas about the state of opportunity. 

Apr 1 2009
Research Report: The State of Opportunity Report (2009)

This is the 2009 State of Opportunity report.  Here you may download the final report, the final report with accompanying charts, a synopsis, and each of the indicators individually.

Read more about the report here.


Apr 1 2009
Blog Post An Uneven Journey

Earlier this year, I visited my father, who lives in the Bay Area. As we drove from the Oakland airport, the conversation quickly turned to the Obama presidency. Born in 1923, my dad survived the Great Depression, fought in World War II, endured vicious Jim Crow segregation and violence, participated in the Civil Rights Movement, and, this year, witnessed the inauguration of an African-American president of the United States.

Mar 24 2009
Communications Talking Points: Expanding Opportunity in Colorado (2008)

These talking points offer communications advice for educating audiences about the importance of equal opportunity policies.  It integrates recent opinion research, media trends, social science literature, and experience from the field to offer promising themes and messages.

Mar 23 2009
Research Report: The State of Opportunity Update (2007)

This is the 2007 update to the State of Opportunity report.  There are two files, the full chart of indicators and a summary.


Mar 15 2009
Law and Policy Testimony: Recommendations for Ensuring Equitable Access and Quality in New York State Health Care System Reform (2007)

The Opportunity Agenda submitted the following testimony urging the State of New York to consider not just the issue of insurance coverage in reform efforts, but the deep and continuing problems of equal access and quality of care that many New Yorkers continue to struggle with.

In 2007, New York State began the "Partnership for Coverage" initiative, designed to build consensus and support for health care reform.  This testimony was submitted at one of the Departments of Health and Insurance's series of hearings.

Mar 15 2009
Blog Post Van Jones as Green Jobs Czar

Brentin Mock at The American Prospect reports on the nomination of West Coast green jobs and urban revitalization advocate Van Jones to the White House position of Green Jobs Czar. Van Jones is the founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Green For All.  He is author of the New York Times Bestseller The Green Collar Economy.

Mar 11 2009
Communications Talking Points: Expanding Opportunity For All - CERD (2008)

These talking points provide advice on talking with journalists and other general audiences about US compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Mar 5 2009
Research Report: State of Opportunity (2006)

SoO2006_0.pngIf the promise of opportunity is a core national commitment, it is essential to measure our success in fulfilling that commitment.  This report assesses the nation’s progress toward protecting and expanding opportunity for all Americans and encourages our policymakers, through bold leadership and innovative policies, to ensure the promise of o

Feb 15 2009
Law and Policy Case Study: Supreme Court Cases on Diversity in the Schools (2007)

Anticipating the Supreme Court's decision on the cases Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, The Opportunity Agenda began work in 2007 to develop a communications strategy that coordinated and unified the voices of the social justice community to achieve greater coherence, resonance and amplification leading up to and following the Supreme Court's decision.

Feb 15 2009
Blog Post The State of Opportunity in America (2009) Released

The Opportunity Agenda is pleased to announce the release of our 2009 State of Opportunity in America report. The report documents America’s progress in protecting opportunity for everyone who lives here, and finds that access to full and equal opportunity is still very much a mixed reality.

Feb 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: The Supreme Court's School Diversity Cases (2007)

We recommend using the following messages to communicate the importance of pursuing inclusion in our schools, and outline the valid options for doing so.

Jan 29 2009
Research Report: Unequal Health Outcomes in the United States (2008)

Originally conceived as a “shadow report” to the 2007 U.S. Periodic Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, this report was written by a coalition of experts in the fields of health policy and environmental justice, including academics and members of civil society organizations working to advance the right to health and the right to a healthy environment in the United States.

Jan 27 2009
Blog Post Dr. King's Modern Legacy

In the days just before and after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th birthday, I had the opportunity to visit two places that are integral to his modern day legacy: Washington, DC and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. As I witnessed the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president, I thought of Dr. King’s admonition, in his 1963 I Have a Dream Speech, that “we cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.” Despite some continuing problems at the ballot box, this was an election about which Dr. King could be truly satisfied; African Americans turned out in record numbers to elect the nation’s first African-American president.

In the same speech, Dr. King reminded the nation that “when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Rights’ of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’”

For anyone who’s visited the Gulf Coast recently, it is obvious that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as the people of the Lower Ninth Ward—overwhelmingly poor and African-American—are concerned. The world witnessed in 2005 how our government left the region’s people to drown in their homes and suffer unspeakable conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center and Superdome. More than three years later, that abandonment continues.

Jan 23 2009
Communications Talking Points: Health Equity in New York (2007)

Talking about the inherent unfairness and inequalities in our health care system is a critical contribution to New York’s ongoing dialogue about how to improve it.

Jan 18 2009
Page Promoting Health Opportunity in New York

In New York, we worked to show how health care resource decisions were impacting low-income and communities of color.  A central tool was the healthcarethatworks.org website, which shows where hospitals have closed over time in New York City.

Dec 19 2008
Communications Mapping: Health Care that Works One Pager (2006)

Read about our first online mapping project, Healthcarethatworks.org.  This tool tracks the closure of hospitals across the city of New York and shows the racial and economic makeup of the affected neighborhoods.


Dec 1 2008
Research Media and Public Opinion Analysis: African Americans on Immigration (2007)

This report examines African American public opinion about immigration, and immigration coverage in African American media.

Sep 1 2008
Communications Talking Points: Immigration Integration (2008)

These talking points offer communications advice to policymakers, scholars, advocates and others seeking to promote immigrant integration policies at the state or local level. 

Mar 20 2008
Communications Talking Points: Comprehensive Immigration Reform (2007)

This memo contains some suggestions on overall themes and some additional tools the immigrant rights movement has developed.

Feb 15 2007
Research Brochure: About The Opportunity Agenda (2008)

Read about The Opportunity Agenda in our new brochure.


Jan 20 2007
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