New America Foundation – Served as national technical assistance provider for Partnerships Advancing Youth Apprenticeships (PAYA) program

We developed and provided key technical assistance tools to local apprenticeship programs in the PAYA national network. We led the national working group on equity in youth apprenticeship and developed toolkits to help participants incorporate equity into program design and implementation. We also conducted exploratory research into emerging issues at the frontier of equity and apprenticeship and presented our findings through various public-facing platforms.

The LIFT Fund – Conducted strategic landscape analysis for new Southern Worker Opportunity program

We collaborated with the Ford Foundation and national labor leaders Marc Bayard andEric Brakken to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the organizational ecosystems working to build worker power across the South. We also scoped out granting strategies to support the launch of the Southern Workers Opportunity program, a multi-foundation, pooled fund dedicated to supporting innovative pro-worker efforts across the region. . We conducted interviews and focus groups with more than 100 key leaders in issue advocacy groups, labor unions, grassroots, and community organizations across the region and gave the LIFT Fund a blueprint for its future philanthropic efforts across the South.


ApprenticeshipNC – Provided Strategic planning and technical assistance for statewide community college apprenticeship program

As part of the Partnerships Advancing Youth Apprenticeship program (PAYA), we led a multi-agency strategic planning process designed to translate existing proposals and program documents into an executable guide to action for the various state agencies and stakeholders involved in North Carolina’s youth apprenticeship efforts. A critical part of this effort involved building shared accountability structures for advancing the work across multiple state agency hierarchies.​


West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy – Conducted rapid response during state legislative session 

We provided policy and legal analysis for a wide range of proposed economic policy bills to support WVCBP’s advocacy efforts during West Virginia’s 90-day legislative session. We leveraged the expertise of our deep network of national partners and supported the development of key messaging to advocate with lawmakers and the public.


The Institute for Policy Studies & Alabama Arise – Conducted strategic research and planning for a local equitable economy campaign in the Greater Birmingham Area

In this innovative national-state-local partnership between the Surdna Foundation, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Alabama Arise, we led a participatory research and planning effort to support development of a blueprint for regional collaboration among the many municipalities in the Birmingham area. We embedded our staff within Alabama Arise to help lead this effort—conducting dozens of interviews, focus groups and surveys with partners and residents to identify potential equitable development policy issues that advocates and other stakeholders can unite around. When completed, the result will be a regional policy agenda with broad stakeholder support, especially from communities of color.


Indiana Institute for Working Families – Led strategic research and development of a rural prosperity agenda

We developed of a rural policy agenda focused on shared prosperity with buy-in from key stakeholders and broad appeal to lawmakers across rural Indiana. We paired extensive analysis of survey and quantitative economic data with focus groups and interviews with dozens of key stakeholders in the rural parts of the state—business leaders, economic developers, service providers, community foundations, and advocates. Upon completion, the result will be a rural economic policy agenda with broad stakeholder support.


PathosEthos & PV Studios – Provided strategic guidance for launch of business accelerator supporting new entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.  

We supported this creative marketing company in launching a business accelerator that helps entrepreneurs from marginalized backgrounds start successful companies from start to finish. We conducted a landscape analysis of existing accelerators and provided strategic guidance on designing the program. We also provided strategic direction on fundraising to support the initial launch of the venture. 

Alabama Arise – Performed strategic landscape analysis for Alabama Arise statewide equitable development policy agenda

We worked with Alabama Arise to develop a policy and organizing blueprint to support their launch of new advocacy efforts around equitable economic development. We conducted a landscape analysis of organizational partners, organizing opportunities, policy relevance, and funding options to support the work in this space and developed strategies for building sustainable advocacy campaigns in this space.

West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy – Provided research and communications coaching for newly hired policy researchers at the organization.

We worked with two talented policy analysts from diverse backgrounds who were new to advocacy-oriented research. We coached them in laying out their research plan, conducting their data analysis, and writing up their findings in a way that supported the organization’s policy goals and could be easily communicated to skeptical lawmakers and the broader public. In this way, we helped these analysts build their experience and confidence in their ability to conduct rigorous policy research in line with their organization’s strategic advocacy and communications goals. From this process, they produced two compelling reports—one on women in West Virginia’s criminal justice system and one on the fiscal impacts of county jail spending.


Alabama Arise – Provided coaching and project management for completion of State of Working Alabama report.

Many state policy organizations with ties to the Economic Policy complete an annual State of Working report about their state’s economic conditions as they relate to working people..  We helped Alabama Arise complete their first State of Working report in a decade, providing coaching on their overall research plan, data analysis, and presentation of findings in a way designed to support the organization’s legislative agenda. We also provided direct workflow and project management leadership to drive the product to completion. The result is an excellent report that draws clear connections between the racially disparate impacts of COVID-19 and negative policy choices made by Alabama’s state government on issues ranging from health care to unemployment benefits.

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