News & Blog

We're sharing what we learn as we go. Read our latest blogs along with reports, new and old, to find out how we're working with partners through community-centered design and Family-Centered Coaching.

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Innovative Approaches to Family-Centered Coaching: Six Partner Experiences

By Rachel Brooks | August 12, 2021

Family-Centered Coaching is not a one-size-fits-approach. As we’ve worked with organizations around the country we’ve been honored to see each live into the approach in their own way. Through a culture of learning, coaches and their leadership have built the relationships and continuous improvement to center programs on the services that families need and deserve. Through the leadership and learning we facilitate, we often hear from our partners how they are innovating. We interviewed staff at six organizations to capture how each are continuing to develop their practice of coaching and build coaching teams and culture. As you …

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Community-Centered Design for Racial Equity in New Orleans

By Rachel Brooks | May 1, 2021

In February 2020, at a momentous time globally, we launched the long-planned Family-Centered Coaching for Racial Equity Project in partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and eight organizations committed to advancing racial equity. We are guided by community members and stakeholders in each step of our process. Read more about how we first launched our working group, mapped local stakeholders, and created the New Orleans Community Insight Report. Our next step was to facilitate a design process with a team of community members and stakeholders. Facilitating a Community-Centered Design Process Design sessions were held online over four meetings in April and …

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Community Insights on Racial Equity in New Orleans

By Rachel Brooks | April 29, 2021
New Orleans Skyline

Last February we launched the Family-Centered Coaching for Racial Equity Project in partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and eight organizations committed to advancing racial equity.  We are guided by community members and stakeholders in each step of our process. This details how we created the New Orleans Community Insight Report and what we plan to do next.  To center our engagement in local experience and expertise, we began by launching Family-Centered Coaching for Racial Equity Working Groups in both Mississippi and New Orleans. In New Orleans, this includes eight stakeholders from four local organizations-The City …

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We’re Partnering for an Equitable Recovery: Supporting Employers to Hire People with Conviction Histories

By Rachel Brooks | April 28, 2021

At The Prosperity Agenda, we approach quality jobs by working on both sides of the labor market; especially with employers to increase access to quality jobs, create pathways to wage growth, and invite employees to use their full set of talents at work. Our latest partnership, The Inclusive Recovery Project, seeks to broadly build employment opportunities for the 70 million Americans who have a conviction history. The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated talent (FIT) was 60 percent in the nation’s last recession. Our goal is to ensure that post-pandemic economic recovery plans are equitable.  “We …

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Announcing the Family-Centered Coaching for Racial Equity Project

By Rachel Brooks | November 11, 2020
Train to Jackson

Government-sponsored assistance programs have generally addressed poverty largely by “bringing discipline to the lives of the poor” rather than actually seeking to eradicate it. Programs like food and housing assistance are often conditional based on “good behavior.” This is especially prevalent, and problematic, for families in communities of color. To move from poverty to prosperity, we must transform how we connect, relate, and learn from each other. We must acknowledge that these systems need to change rather than individuals. The Family-Centered Coaching for Racial Equity Project uses a systems lens and community-led design process to …

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Emerging Research: Optimizing Coaching for Family Experience at GST Michigan Works

By Rachel Brooks | October 13, 2020

Beginning in 2016, GST Michigan Works and SEMCA Michigan Works participated in research with ABT Associates, Mathematica, and the Office of the Administration for Families and Services to understand more about the impact and implementation of a coaching approach for people receiving cash assistance. The Prosperity Agenda trained selected staff at both agencies on an approach that was called Michigan Goal Progress Success (MI-GPS), which combined the Career & Life Coaching model (see report below) we developed and some supplementary tools, like the Bridge of Strength. Following the the research, we returned to SEMCA and …

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Evaluating Money Powerup Packs in 7 TANF Sites in Washington State

By Rachel Brooks | October 11, 2020

It is often implied that families experiencing poverty make bad financial decisions–that if they were better money managers, they would not be in poverty at all. This harmful narrative underlies too much of the financial education offered (sometimes mandated) to these same families. Financial education can better help people achieve their financial goals by prioritizing social connection, creativity, and confidence. Financial education optimized for these experiences can counter the shame and embarrassment that often accompanies  talking about money when you don’t have any. We learned these lessons as part pf three year project in Washington …

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Taking Action on Financial Wellness in Times of Stress

By Rachel Brooks | September 23, 2020

We know that money is already often weighing on the minds of people experiencing poverty. And during these times of extreme uncertainty, people’s main financial concerns become even more immediate rather than long-term. The National Endowment for Financial Education found that 7 out of 10 people are concerned about their finances during COVID-19 and nearly half described themselves as very or extremely concerned. The list is long, but people are especially worried about job security and having enough emergency savings to weather this storm. To better understand how organizations could deepen their conversations about money …

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Working Together: What Frontline Staff Want You To Know About Safety, Engagement, and Resilience

By Rachel Brooks | September 14, 2020

Employers have the responsibility and opportunity to protect worker and customer safety, create pathways to wage growth, and invite employees to use their full set of talents at work. Based on three years of extensive research and testing with over 200 frontline workers, their managers, and organizational leaders, The Prosperity Agenda developed this Working Together – A Strategy Brief for Employers. We developed this for employers who want to foster personal, organizational, and economic resilience. Leadership, Human Resources, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion teams can apply these strategies to create healthy and resilient workplaces and …

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Family-Guided Innovation: How We Made Money Powerup Packs

By Rachel Brooks | September 10, 2020

We are excited to announce that our work to co-design Money Powerup Packs with guidance of low-income families is featured in the inaugural issue of Journal of Participatory Research Methods. This new journal is committed to showcasing interdisciplinary practices related to participatory research methods in the poverty alleviation field.  When we started the Savings Initiative Project in 2016, we had some thoughts on why families in poverty may have low savings. Most obviously, they don’t have enough income to save money. This remains true for millions of families in the U.S. who face underpaid and …

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