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Open Communities Alliance

The Coalition's November public forum is focues upon opportunity and mobility.

Guest Speaker:

Erin Boggs, Executive Director Open Communities Alliance The Open Communities Alliance is doing great work to improve opportunity and outcomes for all people across Connecticut and their work is very relevant to Middletown and Middlesex County. What is the Open Communities Alliance?

OCA works with an urban-suburban interracial coalition to promote access to opportunity for all people through education, advocacy, research, and partnerships.

What is Opportunity? Where you live affects your access to resources like thriving schools, safe streets, and healthy food. Areas with an abundance of these and other resources are “high opportunity areas.” Areas that need more of these resources are “low opportunity areas.” Access to opportunity in Connecticut varies significantly depending on race and ethnicity. The Open Communities Alliance is dedicated to bringing resources to lower opportunity areas and linking to higher opportunity areas people who historically have not had access to them. Inequality of Opportunity. Some racial and ethnic groups are much more likely to live in low opportunity areas: In Connecticut, 73% of Blacks and Latinos as compared to 26% of Whites and 36% of Asians. Percentage of CT Residents by Race and Ethnicity Living in Lower Opportunity Areas

Blacks 73%

Latinos 73%

Asians 36%

Whites 26%

Place Matters. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not alone in recognizing that access to opportunity is at the core of success in America. A significant body of research has established that community assets and the availability of resources such as thriving schools or employment affect chances for success and quality of life. Race Matters. Opportunity is not available on an equal basis. Blacks and Latinos live disproportionately in areas that are isolated from opportunity. Whites and Asians are more likely to live in resource-rich communities. Outcomes Matter. Racial and ethnic disparities in Connecticut are deep and, in many cases, stunning. Many of these outcomes can be traced back to differences in access to opportunity at a neighborhood level. Open Communities Alliance works to connect the dots between race, ethnicity, income and place.

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