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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Childhood Obesity, Community Coalitions

Mission: Policylink is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by lifting up what works.

Programs: Center for health equity and place ("chep")the work of the chep is driven by the recognition that a neighborhood's environment -- its access to healthy food and opportunities for safe physical activity, the availability of jobs, public transit, and quality affordable housing -- all have an impact on individual and community health. The center seeks to create the economic, social, and physical characteristics needed for healthy communities in all neighborhoods, with a focus on the unique needs of low-income communities and communities of color. Chep supports the work of advocates in the field through published reports, delivery of technical assistance, strategies for policy development, communications, and other resources. 2016 highlights include the following:- in partnership with fsg, launched the ambassadors for health equity fellowship, a new initiative to connect innovative and inspiring leaders to mentorship, education, and opportunities for collaboration around advancing systemic solutions in health equity. - produced the institutionalizing health equity guide to equip public and nonprofit health leaders with practical step-by-step guidance on how to implement effective practices, build coalitions and partnerships, advance policy change, conduct communications, and develop and use health equity indicators. - upgraded the healthy food access portal, the nation's premier healthy food access website. The portal connects stakeholders with available resources and data ranging from information explaining the lack of access to healthy food and the health and economic impacts, to tools for new users interested in beginning new healthy food retail projects and policies in their community, to more sophisticated resources for stakeholders already immersed in healthy food access strategies. Policylink is supporting efforts to create, expand, and document equitable and healthy food procurement policies and procurement practices across the country. As food procurement quickly gains national prominence as a scalable approach to creating a more equitable food system that creates greater access to healthy food, providing quality jobs, and fostering new economic opportunity, the burgeoning field is in need of guidance and policy recommendations to ensure that it is equitable. Policylink also continues to deliver program support to the convergence partnership, a collaboration of major national health funders offering resources to organized efforts across the country to ensure healthy people in healthy places. As program director, policylink provides staff support, develops and produces materials, plans and convenes meetings and conferences, provides technical assistance, and consults with grantees. Through the institutionalizing health equity project, chep is convening practitioners, policymakers and advocates who work in health departments and universities, have embraced the concept of health equity as the approach to creating vibrant communities and have taken on leadership in this space by creating centers, institutes, or initiatives focused on advancing health equity. Policylink has capitalized on this momentum to create a network and forums to discuss best practices, lessons learned, and the necessary infrastructure and resources needed to develop and run a successful health equity institute (hei).

equitable economy ("ee")equitable economy encompasses the all-in-cities initiative, the data platform and related products of the national equity atlas, the equity is the superior growth model framework and the related publications, and the work of our financial security team (previously asset building). Each draws on work driven by data and demographic analysis to create policy proposals and strategy development to secure opportunity for all, including people in low income communities and communities of color. Ee programs are designed to demonstrate how changing demographics in the us will enhance the national economy, if certain policies and programs are in place to support and expand the growth of equity in the future. The flagship ee program is the all-in cities initiative. The all-in cities initiative at policylink works with local leaders to put in place new models of equitable growth and development at the city, county, and regional level. We work with local governments and community coalitions that are committed to addressing structural racism and the drivers of inequality and inequitable growth. We provide these local leaders with the policy ideas, data, and strategy support they need to develop and implement tailored policy solutions that change the rules of the game and set their economies on a course of equitable growth. The all-in-cities initiative provides services to cities designed to empower city officials, community advocates, and other civic leaders in applying policy ideas, data, and hands-on leadership assistance to advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth. Among the publications related to this work are all-in-cities, equitable development: the path to an all in pittsburg, and equitable innovation economy. 2016 highlights include the following:- launched the all-in cities policy toolkit, a new online resource is designed to help leaders inside and outside city government identify, understand, and choose targeted policy solutions to advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth. - worked with a coalition in pittsburgh under the leadership of neighborhood allies, a community development intermediary, and urban innovation 21, a public-private partnership focused on inclusive economic development to create an equitable development agenda for the city. - partnered with the city of new orleans to develop an equity strategy for the entire city and institutionalize equity throughout government. - produce a comprehensive equity profile for buffalo that can inform policy solutions for health equity, inclusive growth, and a culture of health. - launched four new policy development engagements in long island, fresno, buffalo, and sacramento. - released a data profile and policy brief, empowering black long island: how equity is key to the future of nassau and suffolk counties. Policylink and the usc program for environmental and regional equity (pere) maintain the national equity atlas, a first-of-its-kind resource for data to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth. To support the all-in cities initiative, we expanded the atlas to include disaggregated data for the 100 largest cities. We continue to enhance this resource and we also work with cities to help them use the data for change. In 2016, the atlas team:- produced equitable growth profiles for eight cities- provided a wider selection of indicators of the economic benefits of racial equity - added new indicators on health equity - updated all indicators to the latest five-year pooled data from 2010 to 2014other highlights from the ee portfolio include the following: - advanced the work of the equitable economic development fellowship, launched in june 2016 by the national league of cities, policylink, and the urban land institute. - supported a set of cities in the south that are developing economic inclusion strategies including anchor institution engagement, growing minority-owned businesses, and targeted workforce and hiring strategies. - co-chaired the the tax alliance for economic mobility, which convenes asset-building advocates, tax reform experts, researchers, representatives of organizations of color and grassroots constituents and others to identify near- and longer-term policy priorities to expand savings and investment opportunities for low- and moderate-income households through reform of the u. S. Tax code. - produced thirteen issue briefs were published focusing on the equity imperatives and solutions necessary for advocates to win policy changes that build an "all-in nation" where everyoneincluding low-income people and communities of colorcan participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

cradle to career ("cc")the policylink cradle-to-career center has the mission of supporting place-based and policy solutions to improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and families living in areas of concentrated poverty. The center expands the cradle-to-career approach designed through the work of the promise neighborhoods institute at policylink (pni) to encompass other projects that support children and families along the cradle to career continuum. The center works in partnership with leaders from government, nonprofit, philanthropic and business sectors, through place-based initiatives, to achieve results in the areas of education, capacity of families and communities, and public will to invest in these supports. 2016 highlights include the following:- supported the promise neighborhoods ecosystem with a strategy framework and implementation infrastructure on available supports for low-income children and their families to align multiple community activities that are mutually reinforcing and provide a comprehensive and integrated pathway out of poverty for the target population. - directed the california alliance for boys and men of color, a coalition of change agents committed to improving the life chances of california's boys and young men of color. The alliance includes youth, community organizations, foundations, and leaders in government, education, public health, and law enforcement. In this role, policylink manages, facilitates, and supports all aspects of the network's functions including education and advocacy with policy and system leaders, and collaborating with state and local partners to deepen the impact. The alliance for boys and men of color works with local and state partners to ensure that california's boys and men of color are physically and mentally healthy; live in safe neighborhoods; succeed in school and work; and possess the knowledge, skills, and leadership necessary to contribute to the economic well-being of their families, communities, and state. - served as the backbone organization coordinating the core partners and functions of the technical assistance effort to help communities participating in the national my brother's keeper community challenge conduct policy reviews and produce high quality action plans with a coherent cradle-to-career strategy inclusive of opportunity youth for improving the life outcomes of boys and men of color. Policylink and the ta providers deployed technical assistance offerings to help communities develop successful, high quality action plans that are focused on relevant policy and systems changes not just programs, that are grounded in research and data and address the root causes of inequity and the key drivers of negative outcomes, build on and support relevant community based efforts, and are informed by, and in partnership with, boys and men of color leaders and organizations. - developed a capacity building and policy initiative to support boys and men of color leaders to participate in efforts to end domestic violence in communities of color.

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