Since 2009, the Obama Administration has led the charge away from an outdated, top-down federal approach to investing in communities, in favor of a collaborative federal role that is driven by partnership with local officials, and reliance on data and evidence to guide what works. Today, more than 15 government agencies are executing coordinated efforts in about 1,800 communities nationwide. President Obama announced the touchstone initiative in this model – the Promise Zones Initiative – in his 2013 State of the Union address. The Administration has since designated twen
ty-two Promise Zones in high poverty urban, rural, and tribal communities across the country, where the federal government has committed to providing 10 years of coordinated support to advance locally defined priorities and improve economic mobility.
As the Promise Zones approach breaks new ground in how communities partner with federal agencies to revitalize, universities can play a critical role in helping communities measure results and improve performance over their 10-year designation, and learning about the effectiveness of this new model of federal-local partnership.
This workshop convened Promise Zones, leading researchers, and academic institutions from across the country to launch a collaborative effort to scale models for university partnerships that are accelerating local progress, identify opportunities to contribute to larger learning about Promise Zones’ promising approach, and chart a path forward to ensure that communities have the support they need from local anchor institutions to succeed.