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Personal Reflections from Karen Pittman on the First Week of 2021

January 11, 2021

When my phone's emergency alert alarm went off at 3 pm Wednesday, I knew it wasn't a weather emergency. The Mayor was shutting down the city. I assumed that the violence many of us dreaded had started. It wasn't until I finished my virtual meetings and turned on the news, however, that I saw the scope and seriousness of the events. It did not take long to process them: White nationalists had successfully breached the U.S. Capitol. I am still working to fully understand the motivations of the leaders - from elected officials to law enforcement - who fueled that rage and then let this happen. This was not a natural disaster. This was a man-made disgrace.

What I am really struggling with is how to respond to them. What can I do? What should I do?

Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time

January 6, 2021

Opportunities to support young people’s learning and development are normally shared and spread across various spaces, places, and delivery modes in schools, community organizations, and families. We have robust ways to measure and evaluate learning in school systems, but how do we measure the impact of out-of-school (OST) settings?

Behind the Numbers: What the Latest Opportunity Index Tells Us About Our Communities

August 27, 2020

The latest Opportunity Index is out, how does your community measure up? To get the full answer, we need to dig into the data and examine it disaggregated by race. Only then can we understand who truly has opportunity, and how well our Zip Codes are living up to the American promise of opportunity for all.

Opportunity Nation’s Delbria Walton guides us through the latest release, with an in-depth look at one state that is very much in the headlines.

New Research Synthesis: Thriving, Robust Equity, and Transformative Learning & Development: A More Powerful Conceptualization of the Contributors to Youth Success

August 13, 2020

Each and every young person has great potential to thrive. The potential for thriving is universal, but so too is the existence of adversity. Young people can overcome adversities, but the ease of doing so is not equally shared. Opportunity structures — in schools, communities, and society — make it easier for some youth to avoid or buffer the impacts of adversity than others.

Disruption Creates Opportunity: We Must Do Better Together

August 7, 2020

Every aspect of community life has been disrupted, from the economy to the family. Disruptions on multiple fronts have wreaked havoc with young people’s rhythms, relationships and responsibilities. Coordinated responses are desperately needed, especially among the people, places, and spaces where young people spend their time.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important