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HuffPo: No Whack-a-Moles Here!

Morna Murray’s article in the Huffington Post yesterday takes a hard look at our culture’s, well, soft look at poverty. Or, rather, inability to look straight at it. Ms. Murray, of First Focus, says:

“Can it be that poverty is simply not “sexy” enough to capture the attention of the American public? Go visit an impoverished community and see what you think. See if you think the children and families there can withstand a cut in food stamps or health care or child care or preschool funding or teachers. See if you think a piecemeal program here or there will truly change the lives of children. Is the issue not “sexy” enough for you?”

Morna Murray, Huffington Post: “Is Poverty not “Sexy” Enough?”

Are there any bright spots? You bet there is! The Harlem Children’s Zone, of course, and Promise Neighborhoods, which take away the traditional whack-a-mole approach to ending poverty by addressing all issues at once, in a coordinated, strategic manner.

She does, however, make the point that not enough Promise Neighborhoods are funded, and those that have funding need more resources to really make a difference.

We couldn’t agree more!

What About Stockton?

In this recent article in the Stockton Record, community leaders in Stockton, CA, talk about how their city gets overlooked by funders time and time again.

They’re planning a Promise Neighborhood to try to implement some of the techniques that have worked in other places, and to build on what they already have.

Check out the article, and those of you working in California should let us know what you think about the funding inequity discussed, as well as how you think communities like the one in San Joaquin County can most effectively make use of Promise Neighborhood organizing!

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Buffalo Promise Neighborhood on WIVB 4 TV!

Nice to see good press on Promise Neighborhoods! Watch the video from channel 4 in Buffalo, NY, on the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.

Can school program restore communities?:

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New PolicyLink Map Shows Generational Divide

A new map from PolicyLink illustrates the vast difference in number of people of color of different generations.

It’s really quite remarkable–for those of us in the Promise Neighborhood world, it really demonstrates who we’re serving, and a little more about what the future will look like.

What do you think? How can we unite and promote equity for members of all generations?

A New Generation Gap? The Diverging Demographics of Seniors and Youth from PolicyLink on Vimeo.

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New “America’s Tomorrow” Video with Fred Blackwell!

The next “America’s Tomorrow” video from PolicyLink highlights that neighborhoods are the ground zero of equity. Those of us active in building Promise Neighborhoods certainly know that!

One of our favorite quotes from Fred Blackwell, executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA): “Equity and inclusion will not happen in a trickle-down manner.”

Watch the video and let us know what you think!

Promise Neighborhoods Page on CFED Website!

GREAT new resource from CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development)! They’ve put up a page specifically for Promise Neighborhoods, and are open to working with folks on how to incorporate savings and financial education into Promise Neighborhoods.

It includes the recording of a webinar we just co-hosted with them, and has all kinds of other helpful resources. Check it out!

Early Learning Priority Explained

Early childhood is an important priority this time around, so we want to make sure you’ve got the information you need!

We created a brief powerpoint with LOTS of notes (make sure you read through the notes!) on each slide that provides further guidance about priority 4! Read through and let us know in the comments if you’ve got any questions! (Click the icon below and scroll down the page.)

Don’t Risk the Rush! Register NOW on

Promise Neighborhood applicants know that September 6 is the magic date, but don’t plan for the application process to be magical!

There will be a big rush as communities all across the country (almost 600!) file their applications, so be safe and register your group NOW to ensure smooth filing on the day of. (Also, if you’re ready early, submit early! That will certainly help ensure your application goes through.)

Feeling overwhelmed? We’ll help you take it a step at a time. Register your group on (easy!), look over the application guidelines, and check out our application guides to help you apply (helpful!).

And this happens to be finance week, so register now for our two finance webinars today and tomorrow!

If you’ve got questions, chances are we’ve got advice, resources, tools, webinars, guides, experts, and an open ear. Take a breath and get in touch. This is the work.




Sec. Duncan to Visit Buffalo Promise School!

Mark your calendars, Upstate- and Western-New Yorkers! Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is heading to the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood on September 3!

He’ll be visiting Bennett High School, and meeting with residents. Click the image for the full article!

Gov. Dayton Forms Early Learning Council in MN!

We’re loving the focus on early learning and early childhood development lately. We had an excellent series of calls on early childhood work–early learning is a competitive priority in this year’s Promise Neighborhoods applications–Senator Harkin and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just highlighted the importance of early childhood education in Des Moines, and other great early childhood efforts are popping up all over.

Let’s head to…Minnesota!

Already a strong, civically-engaged state with two burgeoning Promise Neighborhoods (the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, which received a planning grant last year, and the Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis, which did not), Minnesota is directing even more energy to important Promise Neighborhood elements.

Governor Mark Dayton has formed an Early Learning Council (which includes some folks who work on Promise Neighborhoods efforts!) to help the state reach its goal of all third graders knowing how to read.

We love to see it!

Gov. Mark Dayton


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