ABOUT THE C.O.C.
In 2016: Armed by its credibility with HUD and reputation in leveraging mixed-income transformation for stronger results for children and families, USI recognized that its knowledge and experience uniquely equipped it to serve a larger, field building role. It decided to share this knowledge by sponsoring a conference in St. Louis, MO.
In 2019: During the Philanthropy roundtable at the 2019 Choice MEANS Choice Conference, USI was asked if we would be willing to lead a community of practice similar to the one that the Department of Education (ED) had funded for Promise Neighborhoods, coordinated by PolicyLink and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Given HUD’s structural limitations in hosting a community of practice, USI agreed to explore the possibility. In December of 2019, USI conducted a survey of grantee sites to gauge the demand for a community of practice. The idea received overwhelming support.
In 2020: During a global pandemic, USI launched the Communities of CHOICE website and subsequent virtual townhalls on Engaging Communities During COVID, with leaders from cities, housing authorities, community-based partners, and resident leaders to share powerful strategies, along with townhalls on Equity in Health and Housing.
Today, we look to continue to build this community of equity-driven leaders committed to addressing the years of systemic racism and broken policies that have obstructed the success of children and families across the country, for centuries. Join us in re-establishing healthy, whole, and thriving neighborhoods and cities through the Choice Neighborhood Initiative.