Intergenerational cycles of poverty are the legacy of racism in America. Native American, Black, and Latino people are twice as likely to be poor compared to their white counterparts. To make matters worse, poverty in minority communities leads to premature death according to The Journal of the American Medical Association and the CDC. Unfortunately, if you are born into poverty it is nearly impossible to get out; 84 percent of children born in poverty—who are disproportionately Black and Brown—will live and die in poverty. But why? American public policies from Native “treaties” to Jim Crow to the GI Bill to redlining have shackled people of color to destitution while providing economic mobility to white people. Fast forward 75 years: State and local governments mishandle the $3.2 trillion they spend every year by overinvesting in punitive interventions like juvenile detention and corrections while under-investing in universal prevention and economic mobility programs, thereby reinforcing cycles of poverty.
Thrive! helps local governments budget for equity and economic mobility with community input. The Equity Audit software tracks over 80 measures across government agencies—including schools, parks and recreation, health and human services, child welfare, and police—to answer two questions: Is money moving toward interventions that have been empirically proven to break cycles of poverty in communities of color? And are we authentically sharing power with residents and elevating the voices of Black and Brown people in local decision-making? Using the Equity Audit as a guidepost, Thrive! facilitates a process where leaders who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) work with government officials to vet those measures, review the findings, and co-create final solutions.
Thrive! equity audits are equally about scaling what works to mitigate disparities, sparking authentic BIPOC citizen engagement in government, and transferring decision-making power to low-income and historically disenfranchised communities.
In January 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing executive agencies to assess how federal policies have enacted harm on communities of color, called equity audits. State, county, and city governments, as well as school districts followed suit. Racism has been declared a public health crisis in 30 states and there are now thousands of RFPs for equity audits. However, high-demand equity audits are not scalable. They are typically done through time consuming and inefficient professional services contracts. By introducing technology, Thrive! can grab more market share with the SaaS Equity Audit solution.
Won the HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity at Solve Challenge Finals.
Recipient of the Alexander Navab Social Innovation Fellowship Fund, runner-up of 2021 President’s Innovation Challenge, won a Spark Grant for Racial Justice awarded by Harvard iLab, and an Adrian Cheng Fellowship award from the Harvard Kennedy School Social Innovation + Change Intiative.
Team Lead Omolara Fatiregun was selected as a Black Girl Ventures x Halcyon Intensive Fellow.
Thrive! was part of the top 200 list for Norrsken Impact Accelerator as best startups solving the world’s biggest challenges.
Member of the Harvard iLab.
Connections to technical assistance providers or professors with intermediaries such as city governments, school districts, state governments, and more.