written by Amy Andrews
All children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg deserve the opportunity to shine, regardless of income, background, race or zip code. This is the fundamental idea on which Leading on Opportunity was founded.
After a 2014 Chetty study ranked Charlotte last among the top 50 cities in the US in terms of upward mobility, there was an intense desire to change the narrative for Charlotte- Mecklenburg and our children.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force dug into what factors truly make a difference in mobility and early care and education bubbled up as the single most important element. Leading on Opportunity was created to amplify the work of this task force by sharing its findings and actively working in the community to mobilize resources and implement community-driven response.
Leading on Opportunity acts as an agent of change, partnering with organizations in our county to connect, engage and encourage collaboration. Their advocacy ranges from recent groundbreaking work with county leadership to expand the focus on and funding for universal preK to ongoing dialogue with organizations like Child Care Resources Inc. (CCRI) whose sole mission is to help provide access for local children to quality, affordable early learning.
Based on its dedication to and passion for improving pathways of opportunity for our children, it is a natural fit for Leading on Opportunity to sponsor the August SHARE Charlotte early care and education conversation.
Executive Director Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter shared, “We’re excited to partner because our mission is to create pathways of opportunity so every child, youth and family in Charlotte-Mecklenburg can rise. Anytime we can engage diverse voices uplifting community, we amplify stories and data shifting the narrative and celebrating community success. Through collaboration we influence policies and practices building public will and shared community accountability ultimately resulting in transformative change across systems.”
She added, “Our goal is to break down silos that exist in early care by identifying opportunities for organizations to share knowledge and resources that result in greater access for all residents of our county.”
SHARE Charlotte readers who feel passionately about helping influence change in our system are invited to join the Community Impact Alliance as an Opportunity Ambassador. The Alliance is open to anyone interested in furthering the conversation to break down barriers to economic opportunity in Charlotte – whether you are a concerned citizen, a local business leader, a representative of a house of faith or a city employee.Leading on Opportunity will also be the presenting organization for On the Table Charlotte on October 23, so mark your calendars to participate in this innovative community-wide civic engagement event on home and belonging.