Our February 2017 newsletter includes
- A new study from FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation, “National Financial Capability Study (NFCS)” funded by USFinancialCapability.org
- The launch of J.P. Morgan Chase’s program: Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods)
- The AFN brief, “The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course,” and an accompanying webinar featuring the brief’s authors, Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, MPH and Anjum Hajat, PhD, MPH, sponsored by the Baptist Health Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, RMHF, and The California Wellness Foundation
- A new report on mass deportation released by The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS)
- A report released by J.P. Morgan Chase Institute on financial behavior
- A report released by Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on the CEO-worker retirement benefit gap: “A Tale of Two Retirements”
- Commentary from “Spotlight On Poverty and Opportunity” featuring Elena Chavez Quezada, a senior program officer with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and Heather McCulloch, with Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative
- The FIELD Institute released the white paper, “Bridging the Divide: How Business Ownership Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap,” which demonstrates how business ownership is a key way many Americans build wealth
- A report on the racial wealth gap, produced by The Institute for Assets & Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Demos
- A report from Stanford Social Innovation Review, from the CEO at PolicyLink and FSG board member Angela Glover Blackwell called the “Curb-cut Effect”
- and, of course, a letter from Joe Antolin, AFN Executive Director
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Like many of you, the members of AFN and the AFN Steering Committee – national and regional – are alertly monitoring, reacting to and anticipating change caused by the Federal government. The foundation for all of our deliberations remains the same bedrock
principles that have guided philanthropy throughout the development of asset building strategies – inclusion, security, opportunity, equity and prosperity.
Inclusion – Reflecting our principal of meaningful universality — everyone, every child and every adult, regardless of skin color, religion, ethnicity, primary language, gender, sexual orientation, or inherited wealth is in this together – we all depend on each other and face intertwined challenges. For example, the senior needs a vibrant and well-paid workforce to help sustain the retirement they counted on with Social Security, Medicare, and a safe thriving community. Similarly, every child requires support and challenges to develop into their best, just as every immigrant should experience acceptance for their talents, entrepreneurial drive and potential contributions.
Security – Economic security means reduced stress and greater stability. Indeed, national security is not just about a strong military, a strong economy supported by a secure workforce is equally important. Jobs that provide ownership or pay livable wages and provide good benefits or that are asset-building platforms, afford a worker the disposable income to increase economic security.
Opportunity – Every child and every person deserves the opportunity to prosper. Equality and freedom to pursue opportunity are fundamental to sustaining the America Dream and Democracy.
Equity – Equality alone does not guarantee opportunity. Historic disadvantages, discrimination, poor schools, inadequate post-secondary financing, community environmental challenges, gun violence, and rural isolation all create conditions that deny opportunity and require strategic and intentional efforts to level access and allow the talent and skills of each person to flourish.
Prosperity – At the end of the day, the greater distribution of wealth increases security, health, community building, economic vitality and a host of other results for each household and future generations.
Despite our shared uncertainty, we know change is coming that will substantially impact asset-building efforts by low and middle-income households.
Principled, collaborative and forward-looking philanthropy and its impact on evolving state, county and municipal policy, will be vital in ensuring these households and their communities continue to strive even as they experience the unfolding of intended and unintended consequences of changes in the economy (trade, volatility, deregulation, immigration), tax policy, health care coverage subsidies, income supports for low-wage workers, home ownership incentives, minimum wage standards, food insecurity, consumer
protection and other economic issues that will unfold.
Join us, May 2-4 in Indianapolis for Accelerating Ideas Into Action, a funders-only conference, developed by funders for funders, that will address the issues facing our communities during these unusual, some would say, turbulent-times. We will be all the more successful in this venture if we do this work in partnership.
Joseph A. Antolín
Asset Funders Network