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The Kirwan Institute's Opportunity Communities Program


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The Kirwan Institute's Opportunity Communities Program

  1. 1. THE KIRWAN INSTITUTE 5TH ANNIVERSARY The Opportunity Communities Program March 19, 2009 Moritz Law School The Ohio State University Columbus, OH Jason Reece, AICP Senior Researcher The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity The Ohio State University Reece.35@osu.eduCo-hosted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity and theMoritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
  2. 2. Section 1Opportunity Communities Today’s discussion  Opportunity matters  The foundation of our work  TheOpportunity Communities model and program  What is it  Application and impact  Recent examples
  3. 3. Section 2Opportunity Matters: Space, Place, and LifeOutcomes “Opportunity” is a situation or condition that places individuals in a position to be more likely to succeed or excel Opportunity structures are critical to opening pathways to success:  High-quality education  Healthy and safe environment  Stable housing  Sustainable employment  Political empowerment  Outlets for wealth-building  Positive social networks
  4. 4. Opportunity Matters: Neighborhoods & Access to Opportunity Five decades of research indicate that your environment has a profound impact on your access to opportunity and likelihood of success High poverty areas with poor employment, underperforming schools, distressed housing and public health/safety risks depress life outcomes  A system of disadvantage  Many manifestations  Urban, rural, suburban People of color are far more likely to live in opportunity deprived neighborhoods and communities 4
  5. 5. Which community would you choose?To be safe and have positive health outcomes? For your kids to receive a qualityeducation? Which community would be better for employment and have a moresustainable tax base?
  6. 6. What are the implications ofopportunity isolation? Individual  Poor economic outcomes, lower educational outcomes, degraded asset development  Poor health conditions, higher exposure and risk from crime  Psychological distress, weak social and professional networks Community/Economy  High social costs, distressed and stressed communities, fiscal challenges  Weakened civic engagement and democratic participation  Underdeveloped human capital, poor labor outlook, poor economic development prospects
  7. 7. The Opportunity CommunitiesModel The “Communities of Opportunity” framework is a model of social justice, fair housing and community development based on the premises that everyone should have fair access to the critical opportunity structures needed to succeed in life. Affirmatively connecting people to opportunity creates positive, transformative change for individuals, communities and our society. The Communities of Opportunity model advocates for a fair investment in all of a region’s people and neighborhoods -- to improve the life outcomes of all citizens, and to improve the health of entire regions.
  8. 8. Producing OpportunityCommunities Analysis Systems Opportunity Based Fair Housing Planning for Opportunity Neighborhood Mapping Opportunity Revitalization Communities Equitable Regional Policy
  9. 9. Section 3Mapping Opportunity: Why and HowInequality has a geographic footprintMaps can visually track the history and presence of discriminatory and exclusionary policies that spatially segregate peopleIdentifying places with gaps in opportunity can help direct future investment and identify structures which impede access to opportunity(Strategic Intervention Points to produce change)
  10. 10. Application and Impact In the past five years our model has been utilized in communities across the nation to promote social justice  Expanding opportunity for marginalized groups  Recent examples:  Regional equity in Cleveland, OH  Public housing residents and fair housing in Baltimore, MD  Legal services neighborhoods and racial isolation in MA Kirwan’s significant contributions to the field  Subprime lending and race  Mapping and social justice  Opportunity based housing and community development
  11. 11. Opportunity Communities inLitigation: Thompson v. HUD(Remedial Proposal)  Director powell’s involvement in both the liability and remedy phases of the litigation, on behalf of NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Maryland ACLU  Used the opportunity community model to identify solutions for a fair housing for the Baltimore region  Potential impact on 7,000 public housing families in the Baltimore region
  12. 12. Section 1MA Legal Services andOpportunity Communities Background on this project  Originated from effort to incorporated structural analysis into legal services Partners  Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, MA Legal Assistance Corp and other Legal Services Entities  Impacts  National Consumer Law Center, State opportunity assessment, Adopt a Zip Code
  13. 13. To access this report and other resources pleasevisit us on-line at: 14