On behalf of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, Global Policy Solutions led the media and policy-maker outreach efforts for the release of The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males. The report was featured in print, online and broadcast outlets that reached a potential audience of more than 120 million. It was featured in an Associated Press article that was published in outlets across the country including USA Today, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, National Journal, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and hundreds of other local and regional papers and online news sites. In total, the Associated Press story was published in more than 300 outlets across the country.
The report was also featured in articles in Education Week, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Thegrio.com, The Daily Kos, Uptown Magazine, Wave Newspapers and on NPR’s Tell Me More, the Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio, the Roland Martin Reports podcast as well as in editorials in the Seattle Times and the Orlando Sentinel. The report was also featured in numerous local television broadcasts, including in Rochester, N.Y.; New York N.Y. Baltimore, Md.; and others.
Our social media campaign engaged Schott Foundation grantees, partners, allies, advocates and the general public. The Urgency of Now was disseminated online through social media and direct email to more than 1.5 million people.
Over the first two days of the campaign we sent out more than 75 tweets to highlight statistics from each state as well as the broader campaign talking points. The Associated Press (@AP) tweeted its story on the report to 1.2 million followers and received 152 retweets. Other influential tweeters potentially reached nearly 250,000 people in their networks.
The report was sent to over 7,000 policymakers at the local, state and federal level, including staff and members of Congress and state legislatures, mayors and city council-members, superintendents, school board members and other elected officials.
The National Academy of Social Insurance provided Global Policy Solutions with a grant to shift the conversation about Social Security in media and policy environments to focus on finding solutions to modernize Social Security to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and economically insecure workforce.
As a result of our efforts, a U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (WI) has introduced legislation with many of the recommendations outlined in Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color.
Social Security provides benefits to retired and disabled workers, their dependents and the surviving dependents of deceased workers. Social Security is a particularly important program for communities of color and other vulnerable populations, and plays an essential role in providing income support to workers at pivotal moments in their lives.
Global Policy Solutions partnered with the Insight Center for Community Economic Development to identify and bring together leading experts of color from academia, think tanks, and community-based organizations to form the Commission to Modernize Social Security. The commission’s recommendations are outlined in Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color, which provides strategies to address Social Security’s long-term financial challenges while also strengthening benefits for vulnerable groups.
To educate policymakers and their staff, Global Policy Solutions released the report at a Capitol Hill briefing attended by more than 60 staff members from key congressional offices, including several from the offices of congressional leadership and “super committee” members. There were also representatives from many policy organizations in attendance, such as the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, AARP, and the Social Security Administration. The report was also disseminated to reporters at a “super committee” hearing, Congressional leadership and other key Members of Congress, and to relevant House and Senate Committees.
Plan for a New Future was referenced in testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging and in Maintaining and Improving Social Security for Poorly Compensated Workers, released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Global Policy Solutions targeted mainstream newspapers and outlets such as The Washington Post’s WonkBlog, NPR’s Tell Me More, Chicago Sun Times, The Huffington Post and Washington Watch with Roland Martin. To raise awareness in communities of color about the importance of Social Security, we also targeted ethnic newspapers and outlets such as La Opinion, World Journal, Tavis Smiley Radio, The Michael Eric Dyson Show, New American Media and BET.com. The report was featured in more than 40 news outlets, reaching a potential audience of almost 64 million.
The Alliance for Excellent Education was concerned that communities of color were not represented at the national level in policy debates about high school reform and hired Global Policy Solutions to build a coalition of civil rights organizations focused on the issue of high school reform. Global Policy Solutions identified and implemented memoranda of understanding with key strategic partner organizations.
Global Policy Solutions brought the groups together and guided discussions on issues relevant to their communities. The coalition ultimately reached agreement on a common high school policy agenda that would serve the interests of all communities. The resulting policy recommendations were outlined in A Plan for Success: Communities of Color Define Policy Priorities for High School Reform.
The coalition was broadened by identifying and engaging potential funders and mainstream organizations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ultimately invested in the coalition and provided the resources needed for the coalition to become the Campaign for High School Equity, which continues to provide guidance to policymakers on high school reform policy.
Global Policy Solutions was asked by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) to develop and deliver of a nationally replicable curriculum designed to educate African-American communities on the importance of Social Security to the financial security and stability of African American women and their families.
We developed a curriculum, wrote and designed companion educational materials, led training sessions with NCNW network of affiliated women’s organizations, and conducted a comprehensive evaluation assessing the effectiveness of the trainings. Over the course of the project, wehelped 300 women leaders build the knowledge, skills and resources to deliver the training curriculum to audiences across the country.
The Schott Foundation for Public Education asked Global Policy Solutions to create a blueprint for comprehensive education reform based upon its Opportunity to Learn framework which embraces elements that make students more likely to achieve state proficiency standards, graduate from high school, and have higher postsecondary education attainment rates.
Different from most calls for reform, the 2020 Vision Roadmap: A Pre-K Through Postsecondary Roadmap for Educational Success considers the educational pipeline in its entirety—from early childhood through postsecondary attainment—and offers evidence-informed strategies to boost access, quantity and quality at every stage. The strategies offered in this blueprint provide policymakers, school officials, education advocates, and business and community leaders with the guidance they need to pursue policy and practice-based changes that will unleash the power and potential of our nation’s youth; a fundamental component of America’s economic engine and its most precious resource.