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Mobilizing Money and Movements: Creative finance for food systems transformation

May 24, 2022

The report Mobilizing Money and Movements: Creative finance for food systems transformation provides investors with a roadmap of creative finance strategies that support entrepreneurs, farmers, activists, and social movements to transform local food economies. Conducted by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative (TIFS), this report showcases six food-focused initiatives that have incorporated unique investment strategies that blend a spectrum of financial capital to both stimulate social enterprise and achieve sustainable, equitable, and secure food systems.

2021 Pulse Check on Shared Stewardship for Thriving Together Across America

May 16, 2022

What will it take to live up to our potential to be good stewards of an equitable and thriving future? The 2021 Pulse Check on Shared Stewardship for Thriving Together Across America surveyed more than three hundred leaders who are well-positioned to act as stewards in communities across the U.S. The results track the diffusion of shared stewardship and explore the extent to which the values, priorities, and practices of stewardship are taking hold nationwide.Fielded from October 2020 to July 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey provides rare and timely insights about stewarding well-being in a period of significant threat and opportunity. The 2021 Pulse Check was led by ReThink Health, the flagship initiative of the Rippel Foundation, in partnership with the RAND Corporation and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Rippel. It sought to learn:To what extent do changemakers across America endorse stewardship values?What are their priorities for investment and action?How fully are stewardship practices incorporated as organizational norms?What kinds of obstacles and momentum builders are shaping the path forward?

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity

May 12, 2022

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity is a report by Race Forward and PolicyLink  that describes the work that commenced in partnership with federal agency offices, considers observations and lessons learned along the way, and discusses efforts that must continue at the federal level to fully realize the intentions of the executive order and move this country toward a more racially just future.Race Forward and PolicyLink co-led a Racial Equity Governing Pilot Project with federal agencies in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022. This report discusses critical elements of these partnership pilots and lessons to inform and support the longer term aspirations of the federal government to become actively antiracist. 

Racial, Ethnic, and Language Concordance between Patients and Their Usual Health Care Providers

March 23, 2022

Patients of color are less likely than White patients to report being the same race as their healthcare providers. The disparity could have negative implications for patient-provider relationships and patient health outcomes.

Rising Equitable Community Data Ecosystems. The Voices We Trust: Building Equity Centered-Community Data Ecosystems That Work for Everyone

March 17, 2022

The RECoDE (Rising Equitable Community Data Ecosystems) project team—made up of curious and committed learners from data.org, Data Across Sectors for Health, Health Leads, and the National Alliance against Disparities in Patient Health—set out to better understand how to undo antiquated and dangerous data systems and build in their place an ecosystem that provides all communities power over where, when, and how their data is used to improve individual and community outcomes. 

How Post-Pandemic Tax Cuts Can Affect Equity: An Examination of How State Tax Changes Affected Different Income Groups and Representative Households in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio

February 9, 2022

State policymakers across the country are considering tax cuts in 2022. While there are many reasons and ways to cut taxes, state policymakers should keep in mind that the pandemic's negative effects were unequal and that future state revenue growth is uncertain. This report, using the Tax Policy Center state tax model, analyzes 2021 tax cuts passed in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio, showing how each state's tax cut affected different income groups and representative households from different racial and ethnic groups. In general, states that expanded refundable tax credits provided larger benefits to representative Black and Latino households.

Rebalancing Children First: A Report of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Childhood in the United States

February 8, 2022

The future of America rests in part on how the country prepares the next generation to live and to lead. Childhood is a consequential and cost-effective time to make investments that last a lifetime. Yet, many children in the United States do not have the resources or relationships they need to build a strong foundation for their future.Since 2019, scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution have convened a working group of leading experts to study the challenges and opportunities facing children in America. The members of this working group represent a wide range of academic disciplines, views on the proper roles and effectiveness of government programs, understanding of the current condition of American life, and opinions on how public policy should properly weight competing goods, such as personal responsibility and economic security.Yet, one area of resounding agreement among this diverse group is the need to rebalance national investments toward children. What follows is a consensus report on our conclusions, laying out actionable policies across a range of policy areas to improve the life of every child in the United States.The working group was guided by expertise, evidence, and values, and arrived at consensus through constructive dialogue. While there is broad agreement across academic disciplines and the political spectrum on the need to invest in children, there are substantial tensions resting just beneath the surface. The research base for some policies is mixed and reasonable people disagree about how to interpret and act on the evidence. These disagreements, as well as philosophical differences in how to set priorities, generate division. Through work in consensus-building and compromise, and based on both evidence and shared values, the working group has helped to clarify areas that can garner widespread support.The working group focused its attention on children ages 12 and younger. Across critical domains—household resources, family structure and stability, early development, health, education, and the teenage years—the report presents key facts about the state of childhood in the United States, assembles evidence on policy effectiveness, and establishes a set of priorities for progress.

Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations: CHIP Coverage Option for Pregnant Immigrants and their Children

January 10, 2022

Access to affordable health coverage and healthcare is critical for pregnant individuals and translates to better outcomes for their children. Immigrants who are subject to Medicaid's five-year bar or who are undocumented are less likely than U.S. citizens or those with a legal status to have health coverage, including adequate prenatal care, in part due to more limited interactions with the healthcare system as a result of previous public charge and other exclusionary immigration policies. Healthcare for all immigrants is imperative to advancing health equity and reducing disparities between immigrant and U.S. born individuals.Under federal regulations, states may provide pregnancy-related care through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) state plan to targeted low-income children from conception to birth (the so called "unborn child" option). This option–referred to in this brief as the CHIP coverage option for pregnant immigrants and their children–enables states to provide prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services to pregnant individuals, regardless of immigration status. As of January 2021, approximately one-third of states had pursued this coverage mechanism, meaning many more states could still elect to draw down available federal funding to strengthen access to care for their pregnant residents and prioritize the health of children who will become U.S. citizens at birth. This issue brief–the second in a series, "Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations"–offers considerations for policymakers around the CHIP coverage option for pregnant immigrants and their children, regardless of immigration status.

Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations: State-Funded Affordable Coverage Programs for Immigrants

October 21, 2021

This issue brief—the first in a series "Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations"—provides an overview of the national immigrant health coverage landscape and offers considerations for policymakers related to state-funded affordable coverage programs for low-income individuals who do not qualify for subsidized health insurance under the ACA or other public programs due to immigration status.

Mismatched: Philanthropy’s Response to the Call for Racial Justice

October 16, 2021

Mismatched: Philanthropy's Response to the Call for Racial Justice is the most comprehensive assessment of racial equity and racial justice funding to date, providing a detailed analysis of funding from 2015–2018 and a preliminary analysis for 2020. Written by Malkia Devich Cyril, Lyle Matthew Kan, Ben Francisco Maulbeck, and Lori Villarosa, the report examines trends, contradictions, and divergences in funding for both racial equity and racial justice work.

True Value: Revealing the Positive Impacts of Food Systems Transformation

October 14, 2021

This report True Value: Revealing the Positive Impacts of Food Systems Transformation presents powerful and compelling evidence that food systems transformation is possible and having an impact now. Conducted by TMG Think Tank for Sustainability, an inclusive and true cost evaluation approach is applied to six food systems initiatives featured in the Beacons of Hope series to understand the breadth and depth of their positive impacts. True Cost Accounting (TCA) is an innovative tool that provides a holistic understanding of the relationships between agriculture, food, the environment, and human well-being.Using TCA enables us to see the significant monetary and non-monetary benefits sustainable food systems have on issues like public health, biodiversity conservation, climate, workers' rights, cultural diversity, and gender empowerment. It also demonstrates how TCA can be used for a variety of organizations -- from businesses, farmer cooperatives, food banks, research facilities, and more -- as a systemic approach to assess, measure, and value the positive and negative impacts of food systems. 

Mutual Accountability Is the Key to Equity-Oriented Systems Change: How Initiatives Can Create Durable Shifts in Policies and Practices

October 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and protests arising from police killings of Black Americans have drawn national attention to long-existent and worsening racialized gaps in health, wealth, and well-being that decades of investment and problem solving have been unable to close. Responding to amplified calls from communities and advocates for meaningful change, some philanthropic organizations are reexamining what and how they fund. We present findings from one such effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in partnership with the Urban Institute to assess the funder's health-promoting portfolio of investments in community development organizations and activities.This brief presents a framework for grantmakers seeking to understand why some past efforts have fallen short and how future investments might produce more equity-oriented, power-shifting systems change. Urban analyzed a portion of RWJF's portfolio consisting of 15 health-promoting programs and investments launched between 2013 and 2019 that aimed to integrate public health, health care, and community development to improve community health, well-being, and equity. As part of the assessment, we developed a guiding framework that proved critical to our inquiry. We were able to road-test the model as we synthesized insights from dozens of interviews with grantees and partners, community development intermediaries, and philanthropic leaders and staff. The mutual accountability framework allowed us to disentangle intended goals, necessary commitments, and actual results to think about the ways these three elements may—or may not be—aligned.