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Blog Post Partner News: National Recognition for our Fellows and the Creative Change Network

Add a Peabody and a Knight Cities Challenge Award to the ever-growing list of honors received by members of the Creative Change network!

May 24 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 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?”

May 10 2015
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
Page Public Opinion Monthly (February 2014): Homeownership and Affordable Housing Remain Tough Goals

By Jhanidya Bermeo

Feb 26 2014
Page Top Public Opinion Insights To Begin The New Year

Photo courtesy of Flickr/kelly88ros

By Jhanidya Bermeo 

Dec 17 2013
Page The Opportunity Agenda Is Pleased to Introduce our New Fellow, Tracy Van Slyke

The Opportunity Agenda Is Pleased to Introduce Our New Fellow, Tracy Van Slyke

Download this information (PDF)

Nov 19 2013
Blog Post Q&A with Helvetika Bold, Social Justice Superhero

This was originally posted by Lightbox Collaborative on Nov. 5

This week, we’re honored to share some ideas from communications superhero, Helvetika Bold. Created by our friends at Opportunity Agenda, Helvetika Bold is the kind of hero our movements need—sassy and strong, outspoken and on-message. Enjoy the tips and tricks she shared with us in a recent interview!

Nov 15 2013
Page Amazing Times at The Opportunity Agenda

The last several weeks have been remarkable ones for opportunity and human rights in the public discourse. The Opportunity Agenda has been at ground zero, in the media, on the street, and in the halls of power. A national conversation about racial profiling heated up, with the tragic shooting of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin, outrage over New York City’s discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy, and the U.S.

Jul 13 2012
Blog Post What You Just Said Hurts My Head


We’re all familiar with the feeling of cognitive dissonance, when suddenly we’re forced to hold two contradicting ideas in our heads. Maybe we’ve just heard unflattering news about someone we respected, or have been presented with facts that challenge a deeply held worldview. As any communications expert will tell you, we tend to deal with this kind of dissonance by simply rejecting the new information as incorrect, unreliable, or purposefully misleading.

May 17 2012
Blog Post In Honor of International Women's Day, Let's Go From Rhetoric to Reality

The strange case of the Georgetown 3L and the bombastic talk radio host has garnered a lot of news attention lately. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, that attention has been focused on the sound and fury, which signify nothing.

Mar 8 2012
Blog Post Poverty, Opportunity, and the 2012 Presidential Election

 A recent forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, provided an in-depth discussion into the level of concern in the United States about poverty and opportunity, particularly concerning children. Spotlight on Poverty also looked at whether or not these issues will be factors in the upcoming presidential election. Overall, people believe strongly that equal opportunity for children of all races is very important; that not all children currently have full access to opportunity; and that presidential candidates’ views on poverty are very important. But, many think that neither the candidates nor the media are discussing poverty enough.

Feb 21 2012
Blog Post Public Opinion Roundup: Equal Opportunity and Fairness

 Year after year, equal opportunity and fairness are critically important values on the minds of Americans. Surveys find a collective desire for greater economic equality, greater government involvement in employment and opportunity, and a more widespread distribution of wealth, but people don’t think that these values are reflected in the current economy.  For example, a November 2011 poll found that just over half of Americans said that a major problem in the U.S. is that “everyone does not have an equal chance in life.” The same number agreed with this statement in September 2010. More than two of three Democrats and one in two Independents agreed, but more than half of Republicans disagreed. 


Dec 21 2011
Page Public Opinion Monthly (December 2011)

By: Jill Mizell

December 9, 2011

Americans’ views of family are undergoing major shifts. Divisions arise over definitions of family, and many still hold a negative view of single parents, particularly mothers. Polling research shows the wide range of attitudes and perceptions that lead Americans to judge other people’s families, including families that do not mirror their own. 

Dec 9 2011
Blog Post A Call to End Indefinite Detention


Photo by Mark Fischer

The right to due process under the law is a cornerstone of America’s commitment to freedom and fairness. Protections against unfair imprisonment, mistreatment by law enforcement officials, and indefinite detention—guaranteed by the 5th and 6th amendments of the Constitution—are rights that no one living in the United States would or should be expected to go without.

Jun 7 2011
Blog Post As Goes Cordoba House Goes America

The edges are fraying.  While xenophobia is nothing new in American life, the use of particularly rancorous and fear-inspiring rhetoric by prominent spokespeople, affiliated with mainstream institutions that have real power to shape our dialogue, is surely on the rise, and ideas that were once whispered (or grumbled under the breath, perhaps after one too many drinks) are becoming increasingly mainstream.  These ideas not only demean us all, but they are also one of the surest harbingers of those dark events in our nation’s history—the Red Scare, the Chinese Exclusion and Geary Acts, Executive Order 9066—that most fundamentally undermine our founding values.  

Aug 17 2010
Blog Post America Lags Behind on Equal Rights for LGBT Community

While Americans grappled over the military’s contentious “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in court last week, the Argentine Senate passed a bill last Thursday legalizing gay marriage and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

Jul 22 2010
Blog Post Shirley Sherrod: An American Tale of Redemption and Courage

Shirley Sherrod, as most of us know by now, is the Agriculture Department official vilified this week after a distorted video posted by right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart went viral. When the facts were in, it was clear that Breitbart had engaged in an intentional and callous attempt to smear Ms. Sherrod, an African American, and the NAACP with a false charge of racism.

Jul 22 2010
Blog Post Soundtrack for the Next Collapse

Call me late to the party, but I heard what has apparently become the song of the summer, “Billionaire,” for the first time this past weekend.  Actually, I heard it three times this weekend, including twice in situations where I had no choice but to actually sit and listen to all the lyrics.  The Travie McCoy single, currently number five on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, is a paean to the type of high-flying, me-first greed that brought us such classics as The Economic Collapse of 2008 and The $3 Billion and Counting BP Oil Spill That Could Have Been Prevented by a $500,000 Acoustic Trigger.  And, in this crucial moment, with our economy on a tipping point between continued, albeit slow, recovery, and slipping back into recession, this catchy ditty promotes the precise values we DON’T need.

Jul 16 2010
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 Keeping the Faith

With the massive march on Washington DC and the passage of S.B. 1070 in Arizona, immigrants in general, and a potential immigration reform bill specifically, have taken center stage in the American political debate. But, buried within the political questions is something more fundamental—our values.

May 11 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
Blog Post Bi- Weekly Opinion Roundup: The Progressive Millennials and Inter- Generational Conflict

Talking about my generation, a recent survey set out to track the opinions, values, and habits of the millennial generation. Born between 1980 and 1998, this generation is more diverse, educated, progressive and less religious than the generations preceding it. Racial minorities make up 39% of Millennials, aged 18-29 (more, but similar to Generation X).

Mar 12 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 The Politics of Heartlessness

The economic collapse and ensuing high unemployment rates have reminded us that no one is immune to the vagaries of the 21st century economy.  While there has been significant disagreement about how to jumpstart the economy, motivated as often as not by partisanship, most people in Congress understand that, at least in the short-term, basic human decency demands that our social safety net remain accessible to the millions enduring hardship because of the extended recession.  For one Senator, though, it is simply too expensive to provide even modest support to those among us who are have been hit hardest.

Mar 2 2010
Blog Post The Damaging Effects of Inequality

Belief in opportunity is a bedrock American value. The lure of the hope that your circumstances will be dictated by your ability and your effort is the primary motivation that brings people from the rest of the world to our shores. Central to a belief in opportunity is the ideal of equality – the thought that we all begin from the same starting line.

Feb 8 2010
Blog Post Long Overdue

In last week’s State of the Union Address, President Obama took a pivotal step towards repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Approximately 16 years later, this repeal is far overdue.

Feb 4 2010
Blog Post Pricing Students Out of School

The University of California's Regents recently announced plans to raise undergraduate fees, the functional equivalent of tuition, an eye-popping 32% for the upcoming school year.  While desperate times do call for desperate measures—and these are indeed desperate times for California’s budget—erecting economic obstacles to educational achievement will only hurt the state in the long-run.  California became a leader in high-tech industries like software and semi-conductors by fostering the type of innovation that only comes from providing economic opportunity for all, and it can doom itself to long-term economic obsolescence by making higher education a luxury good.

Nov 21 2009
Blog Post Investing in our Future

The U.S. economy is lurching towards recovery.  We continue to see nearly as many disheartening indicators as we do reasons to be optimistic, but it does appear that the worst is behind us. Even if the freefall is over, though, the question of whether or not we will return to pre-crisis levels of inequality, or emerge as a nation with a robust economy that is able to create economic security and mobility for all, has yet to be answered.

Oct 13 2009
Blog Post Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup

This week's roundup covers some state immigration news and a few book reviews. 

May 14 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: Talking Immigration and Economics (2009)

When addressing immigration in the current economic climate, it is clear that advocates need to support arguments with facts. It’s equally clear, however, that facts will only go so far. Research shows that people are often most motivated by their values—and if data don’t support their deeply held beliefs, audiences will reject them.  So we need to shape conversations with values, and then support our arguments with the best data available. This memo sets forth some ideas about how to do this when it comes to opportunity and inclusion for immigrants.

Apr 20 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 Investing in Our Communities by Investing in Community Members

Our communities are more than just the physical spaces, or indeed even the relationships, that constitute them.  Rather, our communities are a reflection of the countless individual times when each and every one of us has looked beyond our parochial interests to invest time, energy, and resources into something bigger than ourselves.  Bringing food and comfort to an ailing neighbor, organizing a block party, or even stopping to pick up a single piece of litter; these are the actions that build a community. 

Mar 31 2009
Blog Post Living Our Values

One of the themes President Obama spoke about in his speech the other night was returning to the America we grew up knowing--returning to the America which we believe in.  In addressing the nation, President Obama reminded us that "living our values doesn't make us weaker.  It makes us safer, and it makes us stronger."

Feb 26 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
Blog Post On Lincoln's 200th Birthday

"There is no new thing to be said about Lincoln. There is no new thing to be said about the mountains, or of the sea, or of the stars. The years go their way, but the same old mountains lift their granite shoulders above the drifting clouds; the same mysterious sea beats upon the shore; the same silent stars keep holy vigil above a tired world.

Feb 13 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
Research Fact Sheet: Rebuilding the Gulf Coast Region: Expanding Opportunity for All (2006)

This fact sheet reviews threats to opportunity in the Gulf Coast region and the nation. It also draws upon a range of research and reporting on pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina conditions to distill some key lessons from the storm.

Jan 27 2009
Research Fact Sheet: A Role for Government in Protecting Opportunity (2006)

This fact sheet reviews the history of disinvestment in FEMA and offers recommendations for rebuilding our national infrastructure for safety and opportunity.

Jan 27 2009
Communications Media Tool: Five Ways to Promote Community Values in Your State (2008)

During an election year, how can you promote your issue with limited resources?  This sheet offers simple ways to promote the concept of community values, but you can use it to think about how to promote a variety of causes and issues. 

Jan 15 2009
Communications Toolkit: Community Values (2008)

commValuesToolkit.pngThis publication contains a balance of historical context, framing advice, resources, practical tools and strategies for moving toward a new political conversation.  

Dec 10 2008
Page 1000 Voices

The Opportunity Agenda's partner, Creative Counsel, and The Fledgling Fund are co-presenting the 1000 Voices Archive—a curated, national collection of video stories created by filmmakers and communities across the country.


Aug 15 2008
Page The Opportunity Agenda YouTube Channel

Check out our channel on YouTube.  See video clips that show the state of opportunity—or lack thereof—in America. We feature man on the street interviews, produced video spots, mini documentaries, and other videos that we encourage people to share with their friends, and hope that social justice advocates will use in their work.


Aug 1 2008
Page Human Rights Laws and Treaties

Read our Human Rights Work and Materials

International human rights are deeply American in their history and in the values that they represent.  Read how they can help ensure opportunity for all in the United States of America. 

Jul 8 2008
Video Video: Two New Yorkers

 A third-generation Italian-American and first-generation Chinese immigrant talk about health care and a living wage.

Jun 1 2008
Communications Sample Op-ed: Community Values - Des Moines Register (2007)

This Op-ed is an example of harnessing a media opportunity, in this case the Iowa caucuses, to frame a message.


Dec 15 2007
Communications Media Coverage: Heartland Presidential Forum - Campaign for Community Values (2007)

Held December 2, 2007 in Des Moines, IA, the Heartland Presidential Forum kicked off the Campaign for Community Values.  The resulting press coverage included a values dimension otherwise missing in much of the caucus coverage.


Dec 1 2007
Research Brochure: About The Opportunity Agenda (2008)

Read about The Opportunity Agenda in our new brochure.


Jan 20 2007
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