By John Simon and Margaret Hall
This week, we were thrilled to receive an incredibly generous gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. This unsolicited, surprise gift was such a joy to receive! We so appreciate this significant support that recognizes the impact of GreenLight Fund’s community-driven model, our efforts across our 10 sites and the innovative and committed work of our team.
Beyond the funding, we are humbled by the incredible company we’re in, “286 teams empowering voices the world needs to hear.” This generosity and recognition of our work will have huge ripple effects as we continue to partner with communities to address long-standing systemic barriers to economic mobility and grow our national reach.
MacKenzie Scott’s steadfast dedication to addressing longstanding racial and economic inequities is inspiring and her focus aligns well with our values and approach. As she said in the announcement on Medium, “People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating. This is equally — perhaps especially — true when their work is funded by wealth. Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them. The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all.”
Explaining the selection of the organizations receiving support she added, “Because community-centered service is such a powerful catalyst and multiplier, we spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected.”
This is an exciting moment for GreenLight. Last year, our 33 portfolio organizations reached more than 325,000 children and families with their evidence-based programs, breaking down barriers and opening economic mobility opportunities for children and families. The proven programs we invest in, both financially and with on-the-ground support, are addressing persistent needs and making an impact in areas including early childhood literacy, college access and persistence, teacher effectiveness, second chance employment, family economic mobility, and youth aging out of foster care.
This gift will be instrumental as we grow our impact across the country and execute on our recently completed, ambitious strategic plan. We will continue to expand GreenLight’s proven model, adding a new city each year, and strengthen our national network, leveraging learnings, resources and innovations across our sites to make our work better in every city.