Standing together for a stronger community
When we create a community where all our neighbors have an opportunity to succeed, we all thrive. But we have work to do to achieve this vision. In Fairfield County, race is highly correlated with outcomes in education, health, housing, income and wealth generation. These racial disparities are the result of racist systems and structures that were created decades and centuries ago, and have been reinforced over time.
Together, we have the power to change systems and dismantle the structures that have created these disparities to create a stronger, more prosperous community. When we do that, we will help our local economy thrive, build a larger skilled workforce, and promote health and safety in Fairfield County.
Fairfield County Forward is the Community Foundation’s new strategic plan for achieving this vision — developed in partnership with the Fairfield County community.
A True Partnership
Learn more about our commitment to partnering with our community to create a Fairfield County where every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive.
“We are committed to showing up with a spirit of humility and courage, and engaging you collaboratively in every effort to make our county an even greater place to live.”
Mendi Blue Paca ∙ President & CEO ∙ Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Why is This Work Needed in Fairfield County?
Stark racial and ethnic disparities exist in Fairfield County due to systemic and structural barriers like racially discriminatory practices, restricted access to resources and prohibitive public policies. In fact, a 2019 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that Fairfield County was the most economically unequal metropolitan area in the country.
the results we seek
Equitable Opportunities to Thrive
As we partner with our community to close the opportunity gap and advance race equity in education, income & wealth, health, and housing, we aspire to create a community where:
All Fairfield County students graduate with a high school degree and are prepared for post-secondary education and/or employment.
All Fairfield County residents have equitable access to entrepreneurship and employment skill-building opportunities to achieve financial self-sufficiency and build assets.
All Fairfield County residents have equitable access to high-quality, culturally-competent physical and mental health services.
All Fairfield County residents have safe, stable and affordable housing in communities of opportunity.
an evolving approach
A Focus on Trust and Collaboration
The Community Foundation is reorienting how we approach our work as we focus on addressing the structural and root causes of persistent racial inequities in our community.
Aligning Our Actions With Our Mission
As we embark on this new strategy, the Community Foundation is adopting six core values that will guide our work.
We commit to fairness and justice in our work and are accountable to the highest standards.
We work to share power and amplify systematically excluded voices to advance equity.
We create solutions through transparency and authentic relationships, harness Fairfield County’s diversity, and partner with our community to accelerate change.
We practice humility by listening first, respecting different voices, and searching for ways to continually learn.
We honor every person’s basic human rights and treat each person with dignity.
We seek the bravery and conviction to live our organizational values, confront wrong, take strategic risks, and pursue solutions that advance positive social change.
practicing our values
Translating Values Into Action
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is here to serve you – and, in turn, our entire community. What does it look like when we’re living our values? By committing to these values, the Community Foundation will:
Together we have the power. Learn how you can join the journey to move Fairfield County forward by ensuring every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive.
Vice President, Grants & Programs
Vice President, Strategy and External Relations
Join the movement to propel Fairfield County Forward!
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