Poverty to Prosperity: Our Work with Rise Together and Their Commitment to the Idea of Data to Action

Poverty to Prosperity: Our Work with Rise Together and Their Commitment to the Idea of Data to Action

Last year, our partners at Rise Together of the Bay Area (RT) came to us wanting more information on the best poverty reducing practices. With our extensive background in homelessness work and poverty research, we jumped on the opportunity to take a closer look at poverty reduction strategies. It’s no secret that poverty in the Bay Area, especially in the heart of Silicon Valley, has made national headlines, and yet even with all of this national press, there still seems to be a problem in getting organizations to come together and effectively address this issue in the Bay Area. Rise Together’s goal is very clear:  cut poverty in half by 2020 using a collective impact model and evidence based strategies.

On June 8th, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development released their report for RT which highlights the depth and breadth of poverty in the Bay Area as well as a literature review written by our team here at ASR looking at sound, research based strategies to cut poverty. The review was organized around RT’s 3 key drivers of success: basic needs, education, and jobs/economy. Within each focus area, the review begins more broadly with policy strategies (both federally and on a smaller scale such as school district policies) and then addresses program strategies. We paid particular attention to the 5 primary groups identified by RT: female heads of households, families with young children, men and boys of color, immigrants, and seniors. The literature review was designed to inform RT partners of promising practices to reduce poverty that align with RT’s economic mobility change approach and a 3-6 year timeline, as well as to identify critical information for decisions related to strategy adoption, modification, and implementation in the Bay Area, given individual community characteristics, needs, and assets. The review was a success and helped to inform the topics of RT’s “Poverty to Prosperity: Power of 9” conference.

Two ASR staff members had the pleasure of attending this conference and reported back that it was “empowering to see so many individuals and organizations unite together with a dedicated passion and commitment to fight poverty in the Bay Area.” The conference brought together many individuals and organizations to partake in a conversation about sustainable and impactful solutions to reducing poverty. Speakers included john a. powell, Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, Dr. David Grusky, Dr. Gabriela Sandoval, and Jahmese Myres and there were breakout sessions focused on three key topic areas: basic needs, education, and jobs. Overall, the day was a success and an important reminder of how poverty can only be tackled through connected, informed, and energized coalitions across our community. We have the data about poverty, opportunity, and economic mobility; now it’s time to take action!

If you would like any more information, please contact Emmeline Taylor at Emmeline@appliedsurveyresearch.org or Riana Shaw Robinson, Interim Executive Director at Rise Together at:

w 415.808.4456 / c 510.691.9600 / rrobinson@risetogetherbayarea.org
550 Kearny St., Ste. 1000, San Francisco CA 94108