America’s first comprehensive Chamber-led strategy to cut childhood poverty in half, ensure all third graders are reading at grade level, and champion diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.
“The American Dream,” a phrase coined by James Truslow Adams in 1931, popularized in cinema, television, and print, and quoted by every politician to run for office, shines as a point of pride for Americans everywhere. At its root, the ideal is simple. America is a land where one can dream. A land where opportunities avail themselves regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation or otherwise. A land where one’s hard work and effort will directly dictate their outcome. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. In fact, The Florida Chamber Foundation believes the place where one lays their head at night has a profound impact in shaping their dreams.
“The battle of this generation is between economic equality and economic opportunity—between those who believe that everyone is entitled to equal outcomes and those who believe everyone should have an equal opportunity at earned success.”
– Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO
U.S. Congressional Testimony, Welfare and Free Enterprise – March 2016
When President & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Mark Wilson gave his congressional testimony in 2016, he illustrated the importance of focusing resources on helping those in the bottom 20% of the country. The Florida Chamber Foundation has been championing equality of opportunities for all Floridians for over a decade and doubling down on these efforts is more important now than ever. Understanding that Florida businesses have a unique opportunity to lead our state towards a model that ensures every Floridian has the opportunity to secure their future, the Florida Chamber Foundation launched the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative. Florida is showing America what is possible, but we need your involvement. Breaking the cycle of generational poverty and inequality of opportunities is not only the right thing to do, it is also a smart business decision.
Focused on three aligned projects, including the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project, the Florida Prosperity Project, and the Florida Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project, the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative aims to tackle the systemic obstacles that block one’s access to opportunities both regionally and statewide.
These key missions of the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative work to ensure that:
- Childhood poverty is cut in half by 2030- Florida Prosperity Project
- 100% of third graders are reading at grade level by 2030- Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project
- Florida businesses discover, promote, and install the best practices in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion, turning them into standard practices- Florida Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project
By addressing the entire scope of equality of opportunity, the Florida Chamber Foundation and its partners will look to do what no other organization or program has before:
- Determine the hurdles that stand in the way of opportunity
- Pinpoint the zip codes that are impacted and the unique community challenges they face
- Provide expert insights to identify the resources needed, and
- Work with our network of leaders in every corner of Florida to ensure those necessary resources are distributed.