We are thrilled to announce we will be going to Seattle for the 8th annual Ready by 21 National Meeting, April 23-25, 2019. We hope you will join us!


Perspectives on Readiness


Equality & Equity

We need to recognize young people who have MASTERED LIFE in spite of the huge odds against them.  But we should celebrate our contribution only when we can point to collective successes we have had in changing the odds for large numbers of kids and families. We do this through a commitment to equity for all young people, providing each young person the supports and opportunities they need to succeed.


BLOG --------------------------------------------------------------------------


VIDEOS ----------------------------------------------

Whole Child = SEL in Action
Blog by Forum President and Co-Founder Karen Pittman

Readiness.  Quality.  Equity

These heady words are shorthand for big, complex ideas that, when activated, can change the odds that children, especially our most vulnerable children, will get the opportunities they need to succeed in life. Child and youth advocates use these words a lot. But we do not always use them together. Or, to be more precise, we do not always bind them together. We sprinkle the ones we aren’t really focused on into our messages to add flavor. But we don’t take the time to examine and expose the root causes – historic and systemic – that make it impossible to make lasting progress without addressing all three goals all of the time in all of the places where young people grow and learn.

Read Karen's full blog. 

Changing The Odds For Youth: Creating Opportunities that Really Matter
Blog by Forum President and Co-Founder Karen Pittman

Equality | Equity.   Equality is a good goal given where we are, but it is not at all a sufficient one.  Equity is achieved when all kids have a shot at getting the essentials they need to succeed because

1. the differences in their starting points have been taken into account, and

2. the systemic or institutional barriers to their success have been addressed. 

People often use a baseball analogy to get at equality vs. equity. Equity is achieved when the playing field is leveled and the fences are taken down, providing young people with real opportunities to get into the game.

Read Karen’s full blog on equity and equality.


Watch Karen discuss equity at the Ready by 21 National Meeting.

Watch Karen’s entire plenary presentation that explores the intersection of readiness, quality and equity. 


FIELD RESOURCES -----------------------------------------------


PRESENTATION ------------------------------

Publications and Reports

Advancing Racial Equity and Transforming Government: A Resource Guide to Put Ideas Into Action
This resource guide from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) compiles data and research, community examples and lessons learned, and tips and suggestions for how to operationalize racial equity. Over the past decade, a growing field of practice has emerged.

The Business Case for Racial Equity
This report, produced by Altarum Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, details the economic impact of racism and the benefits of advancing racial equity as the demography of the US continues to evolve. As businesses, policymakers and thought leaders attempt to track, analyze and ultimately manage the impact of the U.S. shift from a white majority to a minority majority, the availability of data on the progress and pain points within health, education and crime and justice will be even more important.


Related Forum Content

How Addressing Inequity and Social Justice Correlate to Social-Emotional Learning
This blog from Allison Williams of Wyman Center, discusses the social-emotional learning field guide "Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices in Social and Emotional Learning" and the theme of actively promoting inclusion and equity to equip teens with valuable social-emotional skills. 

Ready Thoughts: Giving Voice to Young Men of Color
Karen Pittman introduces the College Board initative entitled "The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color" features reports, statistical breakdowns, and stories from young men of color. 


Local Equity Plan Videos

Driving Toward Equity - Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative
This video explores the experiences of the city of Seattle in their development and launch of the Race and Justice Iniatives, including key decision points, challenges and successes, and acknowledging the larger context while focusing on where there is leverage and power.

Making an Impact: Advancing Racial Equity in Schools (Minneapolis, Minn.)
The Organizing Apprenticeship Project and others discuss their successful campaign, using Race Forward's framework and resources, to get the Minneapolis-area school system to integrate Racial Equity Impact Assessments into their policy process.



Using an Equity Lens in Your Work: Implementing Racial Equity Tools
This video from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network describes racial equity tools and how they can be applied in communities, including examples from local leaders who have used the tools in practice.

Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide - Embracing Equity: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization
Advancing race equity and inclusion can sometimes seem daunting and often leaves many wondering how and where to start. One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide from the Annie E. Casey Foundation provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. The guide demonstrates how a race equity lens can be adopted by foundations or other organizations that work directly with systems, technical assistance providers and communities.

Racial Equity Tools Website
The Racial Equity Tools website is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. The site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.

YWCA Madison - Race to Equity Toolkit
The Race to Equity Toolkit for Conversation offers facilitation assistance to school, faith, and community groups that want to discuss the data presented in the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families' Race to Equity project report and what steps they can take to narrow racial disparities in their organizations. Feel free to modify this toolkit in order to address the needs and priorities of your specific group.

Collaborating for Equity and Justice Toolkit
This toolkit was created as part of The Community Tool Box service by the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. It includes case studies, resources and tools related to that collaborating for equity and Justice.

Policy Link, Equity Profiles
Equity Profiles are produced in partnership with leaders working for equitable and sustainable regional and state futures. Each profile presents demographic trends and assess how well regions are doing to ensure its diverse residents can participate in the region’s economic vitality, contribute to the readiness of the workforce, and connect to the region’s assets and opportunities.

Putting Racism on the Table
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers launched Putting Racism on the Table, a learning and action series for philanthropy. The website includes a lecture series, discussion guides, and several "Structural Racism Theater" episodes.  


Review Karen’s keynote presentation from the 6th annual 
Ready by 21 National Meeting. 

If you would like the PowerPoint version of this presentation, please contact youth@forumfyi.org.


EVENTS / WEBINARS ------------------

Thought Leader Roundtable: Reflections on the Opportunity Youth Movement
June 7, 2017

John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., joined Karen Pittman to reflect on Opportunity Youth and their leadership potential, opportunities to advance and champion policies and partnerships to support these youth, and reflections on John’s early tenure leading YouthBuild USA, Inc. John’s unique vantage point as a former Opportunity Youth himself has given him a unique voice for and among young people and corporate leaders, among others.