Not the Raiders, we’re actually Bucs fans … But we’re very enthusiastic fans of two innovative initiatives coming out of the California city. One of the most ethnically diverse in the country, Oakland has faced some steep challenges with regards to poverty, inequality and crime … but has a lot of ground-breaking things happening for those of us in the “helping people” sector should be watching.
(Sidenote: I do NOT use the term “ground-breaking” lightly, in fact hardly at all, and only in circumstances like this one when it is truly called for … What’s happening in these two initiatives in Oakland are new territory and we’re excited about what they’re accomplishing).
Fund good jobs. What if small businesses could be meaningfully supported to help create more GOOD jobs? These “mom-and-pop” shops have the best potential to create jobs within a 12-mile radius of where they are located. What makes a good job? A ladder to move up, provides good wages and benefits as well as can be fulfilling to the workers. Read more in the recent PolicyLink article by clicking here.
Family Independence Initiative (FII). What if I told you the people we in the nonprofit sector are “helping” do better when they help themselves and each other? Mind blown. Through small group networks, client-centered goal setting and many more resources, FII has also blown away traditional success indicators with their rich reserve of data. Featured on NPR, Forbes, The New York Times, MSNBC and many more, this approach merits a close look for anyone in our sector who truly want to enable transformation.
A close friend of SCC’s will be visiting Oakland on a personal trip and we have already loaded him up with our questions for these inspirational groups. These, of course, are just two that we know of and would guess there are tons of amazing things happening in this dynamic city.
Hella cool (as the locals would say).