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 13 Funders in Lincoln, including LCF. It was released the first time in 2014. What did Lincoln learn? Poverty increased by 48%, we 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, workforce development, housing and building strong neighborhoods.
A key finding in the 2019 Lincoln Vital Signs report stated – persons from racial and ethnic minority populations struggle to achieve equity in education attainment, employment and income. Lincoln has unprecedented concentrations of extreme poverty and poor health.
Once again, the data was a call to action. To address these new findings, a racial equity lens has been added to the Prosper Lincoln agenda areas with a focus on 2 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.
Barbara Bartle, President, Lincoln Community Foundation
Diane Mendenhall, VP for Development, Lincoln Community Foundation
Tracy Edgerton, VP for Strategic Planning, Lincoln Community Foundation
Jenny Chapin, VP for Marketing, Lincoln Community Foundation
Dr. Janell Walther, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center