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Opportunity Nation celebrates Opportunity Week

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Last week, Opportunity Nation and other opportunity partners united to celebrate and promote Opportunity Week, which took place from February 8-12. Opportunity Nation joined two particular organizations, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Council for a Strong America, to inspire Opportunity Leaders to make meaningful change in their communities last week.

Opportunity Leaders are young, grassroots ambassadors for Opportunity Nation’s campaign. Many have personally experienced and overcome the opportunity gap in the United States and now hope to eliminate this gap for future generations. Utilizing the Opportunity Index, Opportunity Leaders help to frame the conversation surrounding opportunity at the local level.

Opportunity Leaders played a key role in Opportunity Week, with help from a strategy and training call organized by Opportunity Nation, the Center on Budget and CSA. The call featured three expert speakers, all of whom have led important advocacy campaigns.

Miriam Rollin, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council for a Strong America, spoke of the mobilization of law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals and evangelical pastors that allowed for an early childhood education victory in Mississippi. Meanwhile, Deb Fastino, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Social Justice and a leader in the Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition, shared her strategies of person-to-person organizing and story sharing, which helped her to achieve wins on paid sick leave and minimum wage. Finally, Renee Fry, Executive Director of the OpenSky Policy Institute, discussed her use of data and analysis to demonstrate to lawmakers the probable results of harmful legislation.

The experts demonstrated diverse strategies that helped Opportunity Leaders see different ways to impact the opportunity field, and Leaders shared further strategies they had adopted in their own grassroots work. The Opportunity Nation blog noted that “the overall message [of the call] was one individual, or a small group, can make a difference when speaking up on an issue and utilizing stories to pair with data and put a face on community challenges.”

Opportunity Leaders then employed diverse grassroots strategies throughout Opportunity Week, publishing op-eds in local print and digital outlets and meeting with elected officials in their communities. Their success was realized because of the training call, which involved a total of 30 Leaders.

Opportunity Nation’s collaboration with the Center on Budget and the CSA was made possible by the Kresge Foundation, who supported each organization individually and helped them to unite to make even more meaningful change. Opportunity Nation’s blog post praised this support: “Our biggest and toughest challenges will only be tackled and resolved through this type of collaboration, and we need more philanthropic partnerships that incentivize and support this work.” Thank you to the Kresge Foundation for supporting Opportunity Nation and Opportunity Week!

Read more about Opportunity Week on Opportunity Nation’s blog.

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