Building Equitable Opportunity

Apply Now
Cradle to Career

This grant area aims to provide vital supports for long-term success, such as educational equity, youth development, job training, economic security, and affordable housing. Building Equitable Opportunity seeks to explore solutions across generations and systems, helping to create favorable conditions for residents of our communities to thrive. The Foundation’s focus on equitable opportunity is based upon research* into the deep educational and economic disparities that exist in our region, across a range of critical measures:

  • Income: Median household income among all Waterbury residents is $46,329, the lowest among towns in Greater Waterbury. But Black and Latino/Hispanic Waterbury households at the median subsist on considerably less: $41,889 and $38,501, respectively.
  • Poverty: Statewide, the poverty rate is 9.7%. For Black Waterbury residents, the rate is 22.5% and for Latino/Hispanic Waterbury residents it’s 29.4%.
  • Education: In Waterbury, over 15% of adults ages 25+ lack a high school diploma (vs. 9% statewide). Only 16% of Waterbury adults 25+ have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher (vs. 38% statewide).
  • Transportation: 28% of Black and 22% of Latino/Hispanic households report not having a vehicle at home, which impacts their ability to buy food, travel to work, and attend medical appointments.
  • Employment: In Waterbury, the unemployment rate for White residents is 8% but it is 11% for Latino/Hispanic residents and 13% for Black residents.
  • Housing: Just 32% of Black and 21% of Latino/Hispanic residents in Waterbury own their homes—a marker of economic stability—compared to 59% of white residents.

* Sources include DataHaven’s Waterbury 2021 Equity Profile and Greater Waterbury Health Partnership’s 2023-2026 Community Health Needs Assessment.

Our approach focuses on:

  • Supporting programs, advocacy, and system change efforts that build equitable pathways out of poverty and to economic mobility
  • Promoting access to quality culturally responsive education, especially focused on Waterbury where there are significant disparities by race and income
  • Supporting the development of jobs and career pathways with livable wages
  • Promoting opportunities to build assets for BIPOC families that have been left behind in traditional banking systems
  • Targeting education interventions that support BIPOC students and include youth and parent voice in decision-making

Efforts we support include:

  • Initiatives that improve the quality of the pre-k and k-12 experience for students and build pathways to higher education
  • Interventions that address disparities for Black and Latinx students, low-income students, children with disabilities, justice-involved individuals, and other marginalized populations
  • Programs that substantially build the long-term assets and economic resiliency/mobility of area residents (such as financial education and planning, adult literacy, job and skills training, etc.)
  • Efforts addressing systems and policy affecting critical issues such as education, access to quality childcare, career pathways, availability of affordable housing, etc.
Apply Now

Building Equitable Opportunity grant proposals are accepted twice annually. See Previous Building Equitable Opportunity Grantees

Josh Carey
For more information, please contact:
Josh Carey, Director of Grants Management, | 203.753.1315, x108