Policy & Influence

USI is committed to designing equitable practices that inform and influence policy, transform systems, and positively impact families. Our work in primarily African American and Latinx communities in disinvested areas across this country reinforces the inherent need to operationalize this agenda and liberate people from systems of oppression.

Policy and Influence (P&I) is a sector of USI that focuses on influencing policies that directly affect equitable outcomes for the children and families that USI serves.

Purpose and Goals

USI has expansive experience in delivering data-driven, human capital, and economic development strategies within communities across the nation. Our practitioner work of being both a service navigator and provider allows us first-hand knowledge of the structures that hinder the equitable progress of communities of color. We seek to disrupt these systems through people-centered, collaborative actions that inform and create policies that will improve the lives of all children and families.

The USI P&I seeks to positively affect communities of color through strategic activities like economic mobility strategies through its CDFI; peer learning exchanges and Evidence to Action Labs through its communities of practice; building influence and movement through creating and supporting policy campaigns, and providing training and technical assistance to organizations on the Results Count Framework and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) designed to catalyze movement from talking to action.

The extensive experience of USI’s direct, resident wraparound service delivery and data-driven framework fuels the policies we develop and advocate for to disrupt systems that hinder Black and Brown communities from experiencing stable, thriving, and liberated life.

Through USI: Policy and Influence (P&I), we seek to address the root causes that impact Black and Brown families from becoming stable and thriving, then utilize the following strategies to assist communities seeking economic generational justice through equitable changes in policy, and practice. These strategies are, but are not limited to: 

  • Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)   
  • Communities of CHOICE (COC) 
  • Choice MEANS Choice conference (CMC) 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) 
  • Results Count Framework™ 
  • Walk The Hill 

The goal is to create coordinated, wide-sweeping system changes in the best interest of disenfranchised people and communities across the country.

Policy

USI understands that our direct connection with the more than 30,000 families across the United States provides a lens on policy that is rooted in the varied and layered lived experiences of communities of color, not currently represented in the policy and laws that directly affect those communities.

Our position is to use our connection and support of these resilient communities to redesign policy.   

Through initiatives like Walk the Hill, the P&I staff will raise the voices and stories of the communities served by USI to elected officials in local and national markets.

Influence

USI will use DEI and the Results Count Framework™ to support neighborhood revitalization by nurturing families and individuals and help them attain stable housing, economic mobility, and connections to health networks within the communities we serve.

But that isn’t enough. Our mission states that we do this work to ensure that all children and families are stable and thriving.

CDFI
Our goal is to propel entrepreneurs to prosperity and economic liberation through the creation of middle-income and wealth-generating jobs and thriving businesses.

The USI CDFI provides small business loans at favorable terms for both new and growing entrepreneurs and locally owned businesses involved in the community revitalization process.

Communities of CHOICE
To extend our support to other communities, USI created Communities of CHOICE (COC). The COC is a national forum of Choice Neighborhood Program grantees from across the country a chance to connect, share best practices and innovations, receive mentoring and hands-on support, and experience meaningful engagement to lift our collective voice in the spirit of community development. 


The Choice MEANS Choice conference will serve as the physical convening of COC members and Choice Neighborhood
grantees, and stakeholders committed to equitable community redevelopment.  

The goal is to create coordinated, wide-sweeping system changes in the best interest of disenfranchised people and communities across the country.

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