Brief Boosting Mobility and Advancing Equity through Systems Change
Michael Deich, Martha Fedorowicz, Margery Austin Turner
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As local leaders seek to substantially boost upward mobility from poverty, they are increasingly recognizing the need to center an approach that directly engages with the sources of deep-seeded disparities. By pursuing systems change (meaning a fundamental shift in practices, underlying values, or norms that reshapes processes, relationships, and power structures), practitioners can design programs and policies that meaningfully address the root causes of long-standing inequities rather than just ameliorating their effects. This brief articulates the importance of systems change, provides examples of how programmatic approaches to boosting mobility from poverty have proved insufficient, and recommends the types of measures that local policymakers can use to track progress on comprehensive systems change.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Race and equity Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Tags Economic well-being Welfare and safety net programs Structural racism Racial inequities in economic mobility Inequality and mobility
Policy Centers Research to Action Lab Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
States Missouri Pennsylvania