LCF expanded its focus and has been influenced by a community index called Lincoln Vital Signs developed by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center and commissioned by local funders, including LCF. Released in 2014, Lincoln learned poverty increased by 48%, our community doubled the number of children in poverty, and we went from zero extreme poverty census tracts to six, all of this over a ten-year period. This was a real awakening for Lincolnites. The community’s call for action lead to the development of a community agenda called Prosper Lincoln with the aspirational goal for everyone to prosper. The focus is on early childhood, innovative workforce, affordable housing and strong neighborhoods.
A key finding in the 2019 Lincoln Vital Signs report showed that gaps persist between racial and ethnic minorities and the white non-Hispanic population in the areas of educational attainment, employment and income. A special issue of Lincoln Vital Signs focusing on race and equity in Lincoln will take a deeper look at these disparities and will be released in early 2024.
Once again, the data was a call to action. To address these new findings, a racial equity lens was added to the Prosper Lincoln agenda areas with a focus on two systems: Income & Wealth and Power & Leadership. As a member of the NEON cohort, LCF will work together with 7 other members of the cohort to seek national funding for our collective work as well as promote peer to peer learning among the community foundations. This opportunity for intense concentration on two systems will move us forward in Lincoln to address those struggling to achieve equity.
Alec Gorynski, President/CEO, Lincoln Community Foundation
Tracy Edgerton, Vice President, Philanthropy Services and General Counsel, Lincoln Community Foundation
Jenny Chapin, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Lincoln Community Foundation
Carly Grutel, Brand and Content Manager, Lincoln Community Foundation
Dr. Janell Walther, Research Director, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center