The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson, W.K. Kellogg, and Raikes foundations, has announced the launch of a new Grand Challenge focused on broadening the conversation and generating deeper awareness and actionable understanding in the United States about the issues inhibiting economic mobility.
Part of the foundation's four-year, $158 million U.S. Economic Mobility and Opportunity program, which was launched in May 2018, Voices for Economic Opportunity will support projects that contribute to "the long-term work of correcting mistaken assumptions and improving understanding of poverty through the actual stories of those that experience poverty in a way that represents the core factors and challenges." Individuals and organizations from all sectors with a scalable, strategic project focused on generating awareness of the structural and historic barriers to economic mobility and removing the stigma of poverty while communicating that everyone deserves the opportunity to move out of it are invited to apply for grants of $100,000.
Priority will be given to proposals that highlight the barriers to economic mobility as well as the impact of biases, intersectionality, and ideas around deservingness related to race, gender, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental health, ability, and geography; the voices of individuals experiencing poverty; and ideas for disseminating those perspectives.