In the webinar series offered by the FDIC and NCDE during May and June 2020, NCDE highlighted how we are suffusing all of our efforts at the local, statewide and national levels with a concerted focus on systemic inclusion — approaches that help low- and moderate-income (LMI) children and their families climb out of inter-generational poverty through systemic approaches that equip them with voice and agency in shaping their pathways to economic self-determination.
NCDE is collaborating vigorously with a wide range of partners (see below) who agree that siloed approaches to alleviating poverty have simply not worked — be it foundation grants for educational equity or bank CRA investments for economic inclusion, key indicators on educational inequality, income inequality and poverty have generally not moved despite billions, even trillions of dollars of well-intentioned investments over the past half-century.
NCDE and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund have entered into a very exciting partnership out of which has just emerged BankOn New Hampshire, a sustained initiative to help unbanked and underbanked youths and adults banked, through CFE’s stellar BankOn program, which offers low- and moderate-income families free checking, no overdraft penalty fees, and free financial literacy education, credit repair counseling, and asset building mentoring. NCDE’s BankOn New Hampshire Coalition will be the first nationally to focus on not only financial inclusion but, more broadly, on systemic inclusion.
Our conviction — the hypothesis we are now testing in all we do at NCDE — is that poverty can be measurably diminished through systemic approaches in LMI communities that simultaneously address:
Our VISTA initiative embodies this vision at the LMI community level, as do our annual state and national summits, the webinars on CRA and digital equity we are offering in partnership with the FDIC, the BankOn New Hampshire initiative, and our new Operation Lemonade effort as well. Watch this page for more developments as we work with partners to pioneer additional systemic inclusion strategies or, better yet, join us!
One aspect of our approach to systemic inclusion is absolutely crucial — ensuring voice and agency for those whom such inclusion efforts are intended to benefit. This principle is embodied in the aphorism “nothing about us without us“.
Our annual state summits grow statewide networks of cross-sector teams of diverse leaders from education, banking, workforce development and philanthropy, using a collective impact methodology to develop increasingly systemic approaches to enabling LMI learners of all ages and their families to climb out of intergenerational poverty. In this work we emphasize that those who live in poverty and know it all too intimately must be active in shaping, constantly assessing and improving such efforts.
Research on collective impact approaches to community change and improvement emphasize that such voice and agency are crucial to producing statistically significant gains on such persistent challenges as homelessness, substance abuse, and poverty.