PolicyLink launches the Promise Neighborhoods Institute

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Dan Lavoie
PolicyLink Communications Department
Phone: (510) 418-1208
Email: dan@policylink.org


Following the Obama Administration's release today of the $10 million Promise Neighborhoods federal application, the national nonprofit group PolicyLink launched the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink - an independent, nonprofit, foundation-supported resource to assist communities through the initiative's application and implementation process.

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink offers valuable tools and strategies to help nonprofits, community leaders, government officials, and grassroots organizations in poor areas craft a successful proposal. Through technical support for planning, coalition building, needs assessments, and many more essentials, the Institute will help urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities conceptualize, design, and implement a Promise Neighborhoods model that fits the needs and priorities of their constituents.

Inspired by the comprehensive anti-poverty efforts of the Harlem Children's Zone, the federal Promise Neighborhoods program will support communities efforts to build "effective schools and strong systems of support to children and youth in poverty and, thus, meet their health, social services, and educational needs," according to the Obama Administration. The Promise Neighborhoods initiative includes $10 million in competitive planning grants to help design a pipeline of social, educational, and health supports in poor communities across America. Once chosen, 20 communities will receive up to $500,000 each to design their own initiatives, programs and services that expand access to quality education, healthcare, and other vital needs in their communities.

"Improving the odds of poor children is hard work - it takes dedication, determination and a clear sense of where you're going," said Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone. "The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink will provide communities with the guidance and support they need to help all their children achieve their full promise."

"The Promise Neighborhoods Initiative is an unprecedented step towards enacting real, tangible changes that will lift up our communities in crisis, and give poor children a fair and equitable opportunity to achieve their dreams," said PolicyLink Founder & CEO Angela Glover Blackwell. "Cities and communities across the country have been working tirelessly to find solutions that work, but they cannot do it alone. By providing these vital tools and resources, the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink will help underserved areas effectively invest in our children's health and education, and chart a new course for our nation's future."

Last November, PolicyLink and Harlem Children's Zone convened more than 1,500 community leaders from across the country at the "Changing the Odds" conference in New York City to discuss how to lift up the HCZ model and create a national paradigm upon which other neighborhoods can build their own communities of opportunity. This highly successful event - which featured a host of national figures, including US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker - marked the first of many steps towards providing underserved neighborhoods with essential resources to improve quality of life for poor children and families.

"You cannot divorce where children live from what they learn," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during his remarks at the conference.

The deadline for application is June 25. For links to the application and background information on Promise Neighborhoods and the Harlem Children's Zone, please visit www.PromiseNeighborhoodsInstitute.org.