2019-2020 Action Cohort Final Report: Cities of Opportunity Advancing Systems Change for Equity in Triple Crisis

This is an extraordinary time as cities face three critical concurrent challenges: a once-a-century pandemic, an unprecedented economic crisis, and an outpouring of calls for racial justice. The scale and scope of structural racism and inequities that pervade institutions and policies cannot be addressed by single projects or programs. Only a comprehensive approach can meet this moment and respond to the complexity and scope of today’s challenges. This approach has been at the heart of Cities of Opportunity (CoO) from its inception in 2018, the urgent need for which is further underscored by the triple crises of 2020.

This report focuses on the progress and accomplishments of the 2019-2020 CoO Action Cohort. The teams included city government and external partner organization leaders from the cities of Dubuque, Iowa; Duluth, Minnesota; Las Vegas, Nevada; Napa, California; and South Fulton, Georgia. The cohort commenced with an in-person opening convening in October 2019, a virtual mid-point convening in June 2020, and a virtual closing convening in November 2020. (Evanston, Illinois, started in this cohort and withdrew in mid-2020 due to demands of the coronavirus pandemic, especially as its team lead headed the city’s Health Department.) Along with the pilot, this CoO Action Cohort produced abundant insights and lessons especially from small and mid-size municipalities.

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Cities of Opportunity is about systems building — comprehensive, sustained efforts. Reach out to our team to learn more!