The Importance of Place

Media March 10, 2022

“As longtime practitioners of place-based work, we know the power of community-based organizations working together to resolve the systemic issues that lock problems in place and limit opportunity. This practice began with Harlem Children’s Zone in 1970, then called the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families. It brought community members together to tackle intergenerational poverty in Central Harlem. Community leaders in Cincinnati, Ohio, further refined the place-based partnership model 15 years ago when they formed the StrivePartnership to drive systemic change for improved educational outcomes for youth living in the city’s urban core.

Across the country, community leaders have grappled with similar challenges by working together in a new way. Collective impact, a model of place-based work, started in underresourced communities and continues to evolve to meet the challenges of the moment. Today, StriveTogether and Harlem Children’s Zone, through its newly established William Julius Wilson Institute, are partnering to support place-based partnerships that systemically root out poverty and close opportunity gaps in regions and neighborhoods across America. Together, we can scale success and ensure that resources flowing to our communities result in equitable outcomes for children and families.”

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