Systemic racial inequities exposed by COVID-19 heighten the need for systems transformation

TULSA, OKLAHOMA — StriveTogether, a national network working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids, today announced ImpactTulsa as an awardee for the Challenge Fund. ImpactTulsa joins 50 other communities across 26 states to deliver more equitable outcomes for children and families. These communities are part of the Cradle to Career Network, a national movement led by StriveTogether to ensure every child has every opportunity to succeed.


“We are proud to be receiving a national $250,000 investment from StriveTogether from the Challenge Fund to support policy, advocacy and mobilization efforts in response to the pandemic and to sustain momentum on efforts to change systems, shift power and advance equitable outcomes,” said Carlisha Bradley, Executive Director of ImpactTulsa.

“When the pandemic hit in early 2020, we made the strategic decision to shift cost savings from cancelled events and travel to expand grants we award to our network members,” said Jennifer Blatz, president and CEO, StriveTogether. “With the support of our board of directors, we pivoted and accelerated payment of previously awarded multi-year grants and extended new grants focused on COVID-19 recovery and resilience. The work underway in these communities is vital to the future of our children. We’re supporting the efforts of communities to transform systems so that they produce more equitable outcomes.”


Altogether, StriveTogether has provided $20 million in grants since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and will award another $12 million by the end of 2021. Multi-year commitments from several long-time investors in StriveTogether helped make this possible.


“Our network members are helping their communities change the systems that fail so many families of color and families experiencing poverty. There is tremendous need and opportunity to redefine what’s possible,” Blatz added. “We’re creating a new normal where race, ethnicity and poverty do not determine opportunity or outcome.”


These investments reflect StriveTogether’s ongoing commitment to support its network of cross-sector partnerships as they work to put children and families on a path toward economic mobility. Communities across the country are changing systems like education, housing, health care and more with a goal of eliminating disparities for millions of young people and their families.


Priority was given to network members serving significant populations of children and families of color who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The following have received funding:


  • Achieve Brown County, Green Bay, WI
  • Achieve Escambia, Pensacola, FL 
  • Alamance Achieves, Burlington, NC
  • Aligned Impact Muscatine County, Muscatine, IA
  • All Hands Raised, Portland, OR
  • Baltimore’s Promise, Baltimore, MD
  • Better Together Central Oregon, Redmond, OR
  • Boston Opportunity Agenda, Boston, MA
  • Bridgeport Prospers, Bridgeport, CT
  • Building Our Future, Kenosha, WI 
  • The Commit Partnership, Dallas, TX
  • Cradle to Career, Rochester, MN
  • Cradle to Career Alliance, Columbia, MO
  • Cradle to Career Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
  • Cradle to Career Fresno County, Fresno, CA
  • Cradle to Career Partnership, Tucson, AZ
  • E3 Alliance, Austin, TX
  • Eastside Pathways, Bellevue, WA 
  • The Forsyth Promise, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Generation Next, Minneapolis, MN
  • Graduate Strong, Bremerton, WA
  • Graduate Tacoma/Foundation for Tacoma Students, Tacoma, WA
  • Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline, New York, NY
  • Higher Expectations for Racine County, Racine, WI
  • imPACT East Idaho, Pocatello, ID
  • ImpactTulsa, Tulsa, OK
  • Learn4Life, Atlanta, GA
  • Learn to Earn Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • Marin Promise Partnership, San Rafael, CA
  • Milwaukee Succeeds, Milwaukee, WI
  • Mission Promise Neighborhood, San Francisco, CA
  • Northfield Promise, Northfield, MN
  • Norwalk ACTS, Norwalk, CT
  • OnTrack, Hagerstown, MD 
  • Partners for Education, Berea, KY
  • Promise Partnership of Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Raise DC, Washington, DC
  • RISE: Treasure Valley’s Education Partnership, Boise, ID
  • The Road Map Project, Seattle, WA
  • ROC the Future, Rochester, NY
  • Rocky Mountain Partnership, Thornton, CO
  • Seeding Success, Memphis, TN
  • South Bronx Rising Together, New York, NY
  • Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), Spartanburg, SC 
  • Stamford Cradle to Career, Stamford, CT
  • Stanislaus Cradle to Career Partnership, Modesto, CA
  • Summit Education Initiative, Akron, OH
  • Thrive Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, Charleston, SC 
  • UP Partnership, San Antonio, TX
  • Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership, Waterbury, CT




About ImpactTulsa
ImpactTulsa is an unprecedented collective impact partnership connecting more than 300 organizations and impacting nearly 200,000 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 to advance equity so local success stories can become the reality for every child, everywhere. They work to transform failing systems using collaborative improvement and a proven framework for change. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network is closing disparity gaps in education, housing and so much more. Together, they impacted the lives of more than 12 million youth — more than half are children of color — across 30 states and Washington, D.C. Learn more at