A select group of urban development innovators from across the country, included GPF-supported Leadership Academy and Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition, met with Obama administration officials on August 27, 2012.
The Forum on Urban Innovators, hosted at the White House, highlighted new partnerships and approaches that are improving families’ lives and economic prospects in the nation’s cities, where many neighborhoods have struggled with endemic poverty and economic immobility for generations.
“Today, many of our cities are growing at a faster rate than our suburbs – a phenomenon we have not seen since the 1920s,” stated a memorandum from the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, which hosted the forum in coordination with the Office of Urban Affairs and Economic Mobility and the Office of Public Engagement. “To help rebuild an economy built to last, we will showcase new partnerships and models that are solving old problems by leveraging human and financial capital to improve families’ lives and economic prospects. These innovations exemplify the goals of the Administration and the best of American ingenuity in creating jobs, improving economic resilience, and strengthening communities.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, welcomed forum participants from throughout the United States and encouraged them to explore ways to capitalize on those innovations.
The Administration’s perspective was framed by Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for the Office of Public Engagement, who emphasized that every American should have opportunities and pathways for real advancement.
Representing the Leadership Academy and Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition, at the forum were Dr. Tony Devine, Alan Inman, Pamela Perkins, David Payne and Carol Osborne. The team participated in both the general session and breakout workshops throughout the day.
“This White House initiative was both timely and relevant,” said Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition Director Alan Inman. “We were proud to represent not only our organizations but the partners and stakeholders that are working diligently to make a real difference for families in the Greater Atlanta community. We all look forward to the next steps that we were assured would come by the White House officials.”