Opportunity Nation Coalition Meeting Off to a Great Start•
On January 28, Opportunity Nation took a major step toward our goal of advancing a bipartisan agenda that enhances opportunity and mobility for all Americans by convening our first coalition meeting in Washington, DC. 59 people from 54 organizations gathered to continue building connections, share ideas and best practices, define what opportunity can mean in the 21st century, and begin the process of discussing a policy agenda. There was incredible energy in the room as these dynamic, passionate thinkers and doers came together in a large group for the first time!
The strength of this movement relies on the coalition we continue to assemble; this kick-off meeting was a powerful way to begin unleashing its potential to advance an opportunity agenda. Demonstrating the coalition’s diversity, we had participation from organizations ranging from LIFT to Oxfam America to America’s Promise andNational Council of La Raza and each participant was bursting with great ideas. Each member of the coalition is an opportunity generator making an impact with its own approach in areas including education, healthy communities, jobs and workforce development, supporting strong families and financial empowerment. To leverage these resources in a coherent way, much of the work of the coalition will occur in working groups. We inaugurated four such groups at the coalition meeting to begin a robust dialogue around these key areas: grassroots engagement, planning for the November 2011 summit on opportunity, developing an opportunity index to measure progress, and communications to effectively raise our agenda and hear from a broad cross-section of the American people.
We ended our time together with a lively discussion of the policy agenda for Opportunity Nation which is only just starting to form. In the coming months, coalition members will bring together their own expertise and the feedback received from numerous community listening sessions to form an inclusive policy agenda that finds common ground across the ideological spectrum and seeks to remove barriers to opportunity.
We are thrilled to build on the momentum of this initial coalition meeting through the ongoing efforts of the working groups and engagement with each coalition member. Additionally, we will continue growing the coalition to add important voices that can add strength to our agenda while shining a bright light on opportunity leaders doing amazing work throughout our communities.