Introducing Fairfield County Forward: A Community Strategy for a More Equitable Region

Oct 27, 2022

Watch the video: Mendi Blue Paca shares the vision behind Fairfield County Forward.

Dear friends,

Imagine a Fairfield County where everyone has an equitable opportunity to thrive.

That’s the vision behind Fairfield County Forward — a new strategy we’re unveiling today that doubles down on our commitment to address the root causes of the disparities that exist in Fairfield County and position our community for a new era.

In announcing this strategy, the Community Foundation will center our investments in creating systemic and structural change in education, housing, health, and income and asset building to achieve greater racial equity and create a stronger, more thriving region.

But we’re not doing this alone.

We’re committing to this strategy through a spirit of partnership with and support for the individuals and organizations that are already working every day to advance equity in our community.

In fact, Fairfield County Forward has been informed by close collaboration with community partners and expands on our existing work in closing Fairfield County’s opportunity gap.

It also acknowledges that many of the approaches historically taken by foundations — including our own — have not produced systemically impactful results. In going public with this new strategy, we are committing to continuous learning and partnering with and supporting our community with humility.

With that in mind, we aim to execute our work differently — putting faith in the people and organizations that are closest to the problems and challenges in our community to develop and carry out the most promising approaches to systemic and structural change.

Together with community organizations, donors, and partners, we will strengthen, catalyze, and elevate efforts to ensure all Fairfield County residents:

• Have equitable access to workforce, entrepreneurship, and employment skill-building opportunities to achieve and maintain financial self-sufficiency and build assets.

• Have equitable access to high-quality, culturally competent physical and mental health services.

• Graduate with a high school degree and are prepared for post-secondary education and/or employment.

• Have safe, stable and affordable housing in communities of opportunity.

By working together to achieve these bold goals, we can create a stronger local economy powered by a larger, more skilled workforce. We can create a safer and healthier community. We can ensure that every child born in Fairfield County — regardless of their ZIP code or race — has the tools and support they need to live their best lives.

I invite you to learn more about the Fairfield County Forward strategy and to discover how you can join this movement for equity.

I also invite our nonprofit community to join us for a special webinar on Nov. 3 that will discuss the connection between Fairfield County Forward and our grantmaking.

I am grateful for your partnership and excited to embark on this important work with you to build a stronger, more vibrant region.

In Community,