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  • Megan & Khammany

Reflections on the 2018 Opportunity Summit: What Does It Take to Create an Equitable Bay Area Region

On Friday, April 20th we welcomed over 275 leaders from across the Bay Area to Petaluma for the Rise Together 2018 Opportunity Summit. San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell's opening keynote address nearly brought the house down, coming fresh on the heels of PolicyLink's Equity Summit in Chicago, with a self-proclaimed unfiltered perspective on getting real about equity and race in our social change work. He pointed out that we have to face our own inconvenient truth: that when you look at the toxic levels of inequality in this region, it is clear that we have a race problem in the Bay Area. And we all have a role to play in addressing it.

Other themes included the integral role that criminal justice reform, early childhood and housing play in creating a region that works for everyone. Without change in these areas, we are only scratching at the surface of change. These pressing issues will not get resolved, however, by any one program or one policy - we need to create alignment in advocacy and systems changes. And as Marisa Arrona of Californians for Safety and Justice pointed out, we must put people at the center of policy and action by shifting from transactional relationships to transformational relationships.

Anne Price of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development presented updated Self Sufficiency Standard Data for every county in the Bay Area region, showing that it costs between $70,000 (Solano County) and $129,000 (Marin County) for a family of four to make ends meet in the Bay Area without government support. See all of the Updated Standard County Fact Sheets below.

The afternoon focused on our three specific focus areas: A Strong Start for Every Child, Opportunity for Every Worker, and Housing for Every Individual. We learned about the key issues in each area and innovative solutions emerging in our region to address them.

It was a truly inspiring day with real conversations about what matters and what will make a difference. We didn’t shy away from naming race and status as key factors in addressing disparity, we didn’t shy away from the uncomfortable conversations or inconvenient truths of systems that leave hundreds of thousands out based on this race and status. We didn’t shy away from naming solutions to our region's most pressing issues and challenging each other to move them forward. We want to thank everyone who participated and contributed to making it such a powerful event.

The plenary session presentations from our distinguished panelists are below. You can access a complete list of the 2018 Opportunity Summit presentations HERE

Landscape of Housing, Employment & Education Issues in the Bay Area

Government & Community Collaboration to Ensure Equity

We want to thank all of the premier sponsors of Friday’s Opportunity Summit!

  • Sonoma County Human Services Department

  • First 5 California

  • JobTrain

  • Marin Promise Partnership

  • MarinKids

  • REDF

  • Checkr

  • Sonoma County Community Foundation

  • Bay Area Regional Health Inequity Initiative (BARHII)

  • California Employment Training Panel (ETP)

  • St Joseph Health

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