StriveTogether grant will help local partnership form youth council, diversify leadership council

TULSA, OKLA. — StriveTogether, a national network working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids, today announced Tulsa as an awardee for the second round of its Strategic Initiatives grant program. Tulsa joins six other communities that will focus on local leadership initiatives.

ImpactTulsa’s grant funds two equally important initiatives for the organization. First, ImpactTulsa will add new members to the organization’s leadership council to advance community authority and provide unique perspectives reflective of the diverse population within Tulsa County. Adding leadership council members from varied backgrounds will help ImpactTulsa better serve the community. Additionally, ImpactTulsa will form a new youth council, made up of secondary students from around the city, to elevate student voice in the organization’s overall vision setting and decision making.

“This generous grant will help ImpactTulsa become even more inclusive in our work serving educators, community members and students across the Tulsa area,” said ImpactTulsa Executive Director Carlisha Williams-Bradley. “By elevating the voices of the community and students to identify barriers and create solutions together, we hope to set a standard for organizations across our city to become more representative of the communities we serve.”

“Local leadership is critical at a time when so many systems are clearly failing youth and families,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “StriveTogether is investing to ensure leaders and staff reflect the diversity of the communities they serve to better support the success of every child.”

The Strategic Initiatives Fund provides grants for targeted strategies to strengthen the seven capacities outlined in StriveTogether’s strategic plan, with a different capacity selected each year. The areas of focus this year include building organizational capacity; providing leadership development and career pathways for staff as well as local youth, parents and residents; and recruiting and onboarding for a key leadership role on the team or board.

The other leadership initiatives include:

● In Boston, Mass., the Boston Opportunity Agenda will work to develop career pathways at community-based organizations for parent leaders who reflect the communities being served, with a focus on better outcomes for kids ages birth to 8.

● In Kenosha, Wis., Building Our Future will build the capability of staff and partners to understand systemic racism so they can identify the changes needed in local institutions and policies for more equitable outcomes.

● In Muscatine County, Iowa, Aligned Impact Muscatine County will create a staffing plan that identifies key roles needed to advance the partnership’s goals and develop innovative ways to fill those talent needs across community partners.

● In Redmond, Ore., Better Together Central Oregon will create a network of community members of color who will serve in key partnership roles and build their capacity to design agendas and action plans.

● In Salt Lake City, Utah, Promise Partnership of Salt Lake will expand a talent toolkit created with StriveTogether for hiring and retaining more diverse staff across the Network, with more equitable hiring practices and clearer pathways for development and promotion.

● In San Francisco, Calif., Mission Promise Neighborhood will engage and activate parent leaders to inform policy and funding at the city and school district levels for more equitable outcomes for Latinx students and their families.

The Strategic Initiatives Fund is part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which invests in efforts to improve equity and economic mobility for children and their families. Since launching the Community Challenge in 2018, StriveTogether has invested $16.6 million in 34 communities on projects that advance equity, improve results and spread bold strategies to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and a job.


About ImpactTulsa

ImpactTulsa is an unprecedented collective impact partnership connecting more than 300 organizations and impacting more than 170,000 students in the Tulsa region. The common goal is to ensure all Tulsa-area students are guaranteed a high-quality education. ImpactTulsa partners measure what matters, share best practices and align resources behind what works to improve student success.

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether partners with nearly 70 communities across the country, providing coaching, resources and rigorous approaches to create opportunities and close gaps in education, housing, health care and more. Together, the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network impacts the lives of more than 10 million youth across 29 states and Washington, D.C.