On May 5, a cohort of 12 local philanthropic leaders gathered for the first time to launch the Delaware Community Foundation’s (DCF’s) Community Equity Project (CEP). The CEP brings together a cohort of 12 leaders with experience addressing equity issues to define a shared vision and set of priorities to address lasting challenges in our communities.
A focus on equity is crucial to building opportunity for all. There is a growing opportunity gap in this country – an increasing imbalance in the opportunities people have to succeed. Many Delawareans start with so few opportunities and face so many challenges that they have little chance of achieving educational and economic success, no matter how hard they work.
The CEP cohort will explore questions such as: What does our community mean when we call for increased equity? Where should funders focus their resources? What policies and systemic barriers to equity need to be addressed and how? What are the most promising strategies that will effect real, positive change in Delaware? How can we collaborate to activate and scale these innovative strategies?
From now through December 2019, the cohort will share perspectives and history, listen and learn from lived experience and local and national voices, and ultimately define goals and aspirations for a more equitable Wilmington along with best practices or innovative strategies that might get us there. This collective impact process will be facilitated by Social Contract, an organization that was founded to help communities solve complex social challenges.
“We believe that the American dream is worth pursuing,” said DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay, “and we are in search of strategies that can make that dream accessible to all.”
Cohort members are:
• Daniel Atkins, executive director of the Community Legal Aid Society
• Rosa M. Colon-Kolacko, secretary and past president of the board of the Latin American Community Center
• Rebecca Cotto, director of Racial & Social Justice at YWCA Delaware
• Dorothy Dillard, director of the Center for Neighborhood Revitalization and Research at Delaware State University
• Kim Graham, education director at the Christina Cultural Arts Center
• Dr. Marshala Lee, family medicine physician and director of the Harrington Value Institute Community Partnership Fund at Christiana Care Health System
• Shyanne Miller, board president of the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow and program officer at Rodel
• Michael Minor, vice president of operations at the Central Baptist Community Development Corp and director of Urban Acres Produce
• Cimone Philpotts, member of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and professor of Public Policy Analysis serving as a researcher for the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission
• Jaclyn Quinn, deputy director of the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc. (DCRAC) and owner of The Law Office of Jaclyn Quinn, LLC
• Shardae White, community relations manager for REACH Riverside and direct case manager for students at Kuumba Academy and Great Oaks for Delaware Division of Health and Social Services
• Christian Willauer, coordinator for Wilmington Neighborhoods Coalition