Creating Communities of Opportunity

In the introduction to “Creating Communities of Opportunity,” the third episode of the Brain Architects’ special COVID-19 series, the hosts write: “While the current coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us, it isn’t affecting all of us equally.  As we work together to try and halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we must also understand why some of us are more likely to be affected than others, and what all of us can do about it.”

Here in Rhode Island and across the country, communities of color and economically disenfranchised communities have been hardest hit by the coronavirus in both rate of infection and financial impact (see the Watson Institute and WPRI for more). In this must-listen episode of the Brain Architects, Dr. David Williams unpacks these devastating disparities and traces their roots in unequal access to healthcare, lower economic status, higher levels of stress, and more. Dr. Williams describes how these inequalities are rooted in historical and present discrimination on the policy and community level.

Children’s Friend and Communities of Opportunity

These hardest-hit communities are the communities where Children’s Friend staff work and often live. As we partner with families in forging a better future for them and their children – both during COVID-19 and beyond – we must address the roots of the challenges that often bring families to Children’s Friend in the first place.

In the day-to-day, we support individuals and families – but this work is also about transforming neighborhoods, communities, cities, and our state. Research from the Heckman Equation shows the astounding two-generation impacts of high-quality early childhood education on disparities; as we continue to provide high-quality education in a changing environment, we look to new ways to meet this moment and transform it in partnership with families through care and advocacy.

Robert Hagberg, Chief of Strategy
Robert Hagberg, Chief of Strategy