Last week, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, a research institute at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, released “State Asset Building Coalitions: Perspectives from the Field.” The report captures the key lessons learned from a three-year State Asset Building Coalition Learning Initiative of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which took place against the backdrop of the Great Recession. It uses concrete examples from ten state asset building coalitions from around the country, including Southern Bancorp Community Partners, to show how states can strengthen their residents’ financial security and stability.
The report explains how state asset-building coalitions can take various steps to advance policies and practices that open the doors to economic opportunity for all residents. For example, the staff at Southern Bancorp Community Partners founded the Arkansas Assets Coalition (AAC) to focus on state-funded Individual Development Account (IDA) administration and policy. Southern also worked in coalitions to eliminate storefront payday lenders and promote new education opportunities through the creation of the state’s matched 529 program, known as Aspiring Scholars.
“State Asset-Building Coalitions: Perspectives from the Field” also details the asset building efforts of state coalition members from California, Michigan, Washington, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico.
The report not only showcases the work Arkansans have done to advance family economic security, it also provides compelling evidence of ways coalitions are coming together to network and use asset-based strategies to improve family self-sufficiency and strengthen the economic and social fabric of their states.
We hope you’ll take some time to read this great report and share your own thoughts with us about how we can work to strengthen family economic security in Arkansas.