Reinventing Opportunity

Reinventing Opportunity is a ten-year commitment by Public Agenda on its 40th anniversary to help communities and the nation address one of the greatest challenges of our day: the stagnating prospects of too many Americans.

Diminishing opportunity contributes to a host of social and political ills, from poverty to inequality, and from political apathy to polarization. Expanding opportunity, for its part, creates pathways out of poverty, supports strong communities, moderates inequality and forges the economic and social foundation upon which democracy can flourish.

Public Agenda’s unique position as an honest broker, trusted by people on all sides of controversial issues, combined with our expertise in nonpartisan research and public engagement, means that we are well positioned to help communities make progress on even such a difficult challenge as this one. Through this initiative, we intend to engage the American people on the meaning of the American Dream today, and the role that individuals, families, communities and public policy all must play to revitalize it in our times. We will also attack three critical questions that we think are at the heart of the challenge:

  • How to ensure high-quality educational opportunities for all
  • How to create more good jobs and economic security
  • How to engage citizens more meaningfully in politics and public life

Reinventing Opportunity reaffirms Public Agenda’s 40-year history of facilitating solutions to some of our country’s most complex public problems. In some instances, this will mean expanding work on issues we’ve tackled throughout our history, including:

  • Improving K-12 Education and closing achievement gaps
  • Expanding access to higher education and increasing completion so people have the knowledge and credentials to succeed in the modern economy
  • Empowering citizens and informing their choices

We will also tackle new issues, ones we may not have focused on historically but where progress will be essential if we hope to improve access to opportunity. For example:

  • Increasing the economic security of the middle class by helping communities figure out how to generate the kind of jobs and supports that allow families and communities to thrive.

Through this initiative, Public Agenda will join forces with those who are working to overcome America’s opportunity challenge. Success will mean that by our 50th anniversary in 2025 the nation will have had a more robust and meaningful conversation about opportunity in America, and taken concrete steps that expand it and rekindle the American Dream.

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