Press Releases Urban Institute Selects Eight Counties to Join the Upward Mobility Cohort
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WASHINGTON, DC, May 11, 2021 — The Urban Institute announced today the eight counties selected through a competitive process to join the new Upward Mobility Cohort. The cohort will work to reduce racial and ethnic inequities and support upward mobility from poverty in the participating counties.

The cohort members will each receive a $125,000 grant and 18 months of technical assistance from Urban. The assistance will include data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and policy and programmatic advising. Additionally, the cohort will benefit from peer-learning opportunities where county leaders can attend convenings, workshops, and trainings to share knowledge about strategies to promote upward mobility and help develop best practices.

The eight participating counties are:

  • Alameda, Calif.
  • Boone, Mo.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Ramsey, Minn.
  • Riverside, Calif.
  • Lucie, Fla.
  • Summit, Ohio
  • Washington, D.C.

“People deserve the chance to improve their lives by moving up and out of poverty. Through this cohort, local leaders can create a plan for equitable access to opportunity and more targeted support to the communities that need it most,” said Justin Milner, associate vice president of the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with these counties and other community stakeholders to build the foundation that will promote successful upward mobility.”

Throughout the 18-month technical assistance period, Urban will use mobility metrics to advise counties in their work to narrow inequities and increase upward mobility. The mobility metrics include measures of economic success while also focusing on power and autonomy and being valued in the community. These metrics can help communities establish priorities, set targets, catalyze action, change policies and practices, and monitor their progress over time.

Through these efforts, the selected counties will develop a mobility action plan that will take a comprehensive approach to economic advancement for their residents and will identify key challenges across policy areas that require attention to boost opportunities for upward mobility. The plan will also highlight strategies to improve local conditions for mobility and outcomes for residents, as informed by data and community voices. Urban’s Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About the Urban Institute

The nonprofit Urban Institute is a leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, Urban has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists, and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Our work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.


Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality
Tags Mobility
Policy Centers Research to Action Lab