Across the U.S., economic mobility is frequently linked with geography. Some places afford poor children the opportunity to do better economically than their parents did, and other places do not. Social networks, providing access to support, information, power, and resources, are a critical and often neglected element of opportunity structures.
In a recently released paper entitled, “How We Rise: How social networks impact economic mobility in Racine, WI, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC,” from How We Rise, a Brookings project focused on solutions to upend structural racism and create a more equitable society, Brookings scholars present analysis to understand and compare the social networks of groups of diverse individuals in three U.S. cities relative to job, stable housing, and educational opportunities. The paper’s findings underscore social networks, providing access to support, information, power, and resources, as a critical and often neglected element of opportunity structures. The authors argue that social capital matters for mobility.
On January 12, the Race, Prosperity and Inclusion Initiative at Brookings hosted a webinar to present the findings of the paper and to examine the role of social networks in economic mobility and equity in San Francisco, Racine, and Washington, DC. Panelists explored the dynamics of social connections and policy solutions that can address equity goals.
Viewers submitted questions for speakers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @BrookingsGov or by using #HowWeRise.
View a similar event on how social networks in Charlotte, N.C., impact economic mobility here.
Alderman, District 7 - City of Racine, Wis.
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