Recognizing Progress

Updates June 20, 2023

Key Advancements Along the Journey to Scale


While poverty may seem intractable, by combating its drivers through investments in promising solutions, Blue Meridian Partners seeks to create economic opportunities for young people and families. We recognize it takes time to achieve change on a national or even regional scale. That’s why we make long-term investments, giving strategies time to grow their reach and influence, increase their impact and, ultimately, create social and economic mobility.

It is important to recognize progress along the journey to transformational change.  We hope to meet poverty’s scale with right-sized investments in initiatives working to transform life trajectories for young people and families in the US, and we are proud to share some of the examples where our investees are making key advancements.



The Clean Slate Initiative

The Clean Slate Initiative has helped pass record clearing legislation in seven states, most recently in New York, that will have estimated impacted on 2.3 million people. Also recently in the Great Lakes State of Michigan, automatic expungement went into implementation on April 11th, which cleared 1M records on the initial day. Learn more.



“In the last three years, we’ve been able to help seven states pass clean slate laws, and today we can celebrate that 12 states have passed clean slate policies.”

– Sheena Meade, CEO, The Clean Slate Initiative



Code for America

Code for America’s Safety Net Innovation Lab helps states address barriers for eligible people to access public benefits. The initiative is expanding to Maryland, New York, New Mexico, and Washington, DC, as part of plans to unlock $30B in benefits for 13M people across 15 states. Learn more



“Technology has changed almost every aspect of our lives. It’s made things faster, more efficient, automatic. We need to do the same for people seeking benefits.”

– Amanda Renteria, CEO, Code for America



More for Memphis

More for Memphis, a new comprehensive social and economic planning initiative, will tackle inequality and create opportunity for the 25% of residents who live below the poverty line by bringing together leaders across industries, governments, and communities. Learn more



“Over the last three years, community members, organizations, and leaders from across diverse systems have recognized that our youth and families face incredible challenges. Together, we’re building a new system of impact to address inequity.”

– Jamilica Burke, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Seeding Success



Per Scholas and Year Up

Per Scholas and Year Up have joined Indeed to elevate job listings that value skills over traditional resumes. Skill Connect, a new job search engine, will help people without college degrees find transformational employment. Learn more



“Skill Connect is a powerful tool, blazing the path for individuals to be evaluated based on their ability to excel with their skills, instead of relying on proxies for preparedness. We’re excited for this partnership.”

– Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas



Benefits Data Trust

Benefits Data Trust helped North Carolina create a plan to increase access to nutrition programs for residents facing food insecurity and supported development of Washington State’s plan to reduce the application time to under 20 minutes. Learn more



“Centering the voice and wisdom of individuals – those seeking help and front-line workers serving them – is key when designing ways to transform access to benefits.”

– Trooper Sanders, CEO, Benefits Data Trust





Blue Meridian Strengthens Leadership Team



Blue Meridian Partners has experienced tremendous growth – across philanthropic capital committed, the number of Partners and organizations supported, and the size of its staff – since its inception seven years ago. To align the organization’s structures and systems with its development and strengthen the leadership team, Chief Executive Officer Nancy Roob announced this week that Jim Shelton will assume the newly created role of President effective July 1. 

As President, Jim will take on leadership and management oversight of much of the organization’s day-to-day operations. In addition, he will continue in the role he has held since 2019: Chief Investment and Impact Officer, with responsibility for increasing the impact, reach, and influence of all Blue Meridian’s investments.  

The addition of Jim as President and the recent hires of Dale McLeod as Chief People Officer and Kay Nemoto as Chief Finance and Business Officer along with other leaders across investor relations and the investment portfolios, positions Blue Meridian for an exciting new chapter.

Nancy will continue to lead Blue Meridian’s overall strategy with a charge to maintain the organization’s growth trajectory and expand its collaborative funding beyond the $4 billion raised to date. She founded Blue Meridian in 2016, establishing its innovative model to find and fund scalable solutions to the problems that limit economic and social mobility for America’s young people and families in poverty.


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