Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative
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.
As we work to accomplish the Florida 2030 Blueprint goals of cutting childhood poverty in half, building a path to prosperity for all, and fostering the educational development of children, we at the Florida Chamber Foundation recognize that equality for all requires a collective effort. Businesses, nonprofits, community leaders, and volunteers across Florida and beyond are working to holistically bring about radical change in communities of need. With a belief that positive impact can occur at any level, the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative aims to identify the hard work being done within these communities and share the promising practices with change agents across the country. Shown below are a few of these leading organizations that are stepping up and giving back to the communities they call home.
The key to our success is the willingness of Florida’s community and business leaders to leverage promising practices and collectively impact their communities. If you are doing great work in your community, contact us today to learn more about the Equality of Opportunity Initiative and to discuss how we can share your efforts here!
In exclusive partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative is proud to offer the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program to Florida’s rising talent in the 150 zip codes that need it most.
Aiming to put an end to generational poverty once and for all in Florida, this scholarship program engages the Florida business community, organizations, and private donors in raising $10 million in scholarship funds with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. That’s a potential $20 million in total scholarship funds that can be made available to Florida’s future workforce!
We need your investment in this program to make it a success! The more donors we have to fund the program, the more opportunities we can provide to secure the future of Florida’s up-and-coming talent.
Visit www.PathtoProsperityScholarship.com to learn more and find out how you can join us on the mission to make a difference one scholarship at a time.