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Askwith Essentials: Improving Outcomes Through Collaborative Action

By Emily Boudreau on November 26, 2018 4:50 PM
At the Askwith Forums on November 29, a discussion on how communities can collaborate to accelerate positive outcomes for children.

Live-streaming of this event will begin at 5 p.m.

As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Schools are simply one part of the complex social structure of a community. On Thursday, November 29,  Askwith Forums will host a panel discussion, “Improving Outcomes for Children Through Collaborative Action,” in which leaders from policy-focused organizations PolicyLink, Spark Policy Institute, and StriveTogether will discuss the ways in which changes can be implemented through the resources of a community. Topics like the power and limitations of community engagement, systemic problems to overcome, the range of “cradle-to-career” approaches, and how to evaluate the success of an endeavor will be discussed. Professor Paul Reville, director of the Education Redesign Lab, will moderate.

The panel will feature:

  •  Jennifer Blatz is the president and CEO of StriveTogether, a nonprofit that provides data, resources, coaching, and policy insight in communities to ensure children succeed from “cradle-to-career.” Currently, the organization serves 10.4 million students and operates in 30 states, including Washington, D.C. StriveTogether works within and with existing communal structures to eliminate disparities and draw on local resources. As Blatt wrote recently in the Seattle Times, “Instead of going back to the drawing board, we need to double down on policies that keep students in the places where they are meant to thrive.”
  • Michael McAfee is the president and CEO of PolicyLink, a research and action institute that focuses on resolving racial and economic issues across the country. PolicyLink works to ensure cradle-to-career success for children, but also focuses on equity in areas like the corporate sphere, police and local justice systems, and the arts. “The reality is, just because you have some successes, it does not mean that it innerves benefit to the entire population,” said McAfee in a recent interview with the Skillman Foundation. In his role as CEO, McAfee has tried to correct that discrepancy by forming relationships with community leaders, improving educational outcomes for 300,000 children, and allocating public and private investments of over $1 billion. He is also a co-author of Equity: The Soul of Collective Impact.
  • Laura Pinsoneault is the director of evaluation at Spark Policy Institute which works to ensure that policies and programs are meaningful and have a positive impact on the communities in which they are enacted. Spark Policy recently co-published When Collective Impact Has Impact: A Cross-Site Study of 25 Collective Impact Initiatives, a study intended as a tool to help refine the collective impact approach. Pinsoneault has worked for 20 years in research and evaluation in nonprofit and community organizations.

This forum is held in conjunction with the Harvard Education Redesign Lab 2018 Leadership convening. 

More Info:

Thursday, November 28, 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
Askwith Hall
Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA