Today, Nature Journal published a significant study on the importance of social integration for upward mobility. The New York Times ran a synopsis this morning, attached. My takeaways and an invitation to a virtual event with the Brookings Institution are below:
Takeaways from the New York Times Synopsis:
“Growing up in a community connected across class lines improves kids’ outcome and gives them a better shot at rising out of poverty,” Raj Chetty, an economist at Harvard and one of the study’s four principal authors, told The Times."
"Robert Putnam — a political scientist who has long studied social interactions, including in his book “Bowling Alone” — said the study was important partly because it hinted at ways to increase upward mobility. 'It provides a number of avenues or clues by which we might begin to move this country in a better direction,' he said."
"Among the promising possibilities, the researchers say: more housing, including subsidized housing, in well-off areas; more diverse K-12 schools and colleges; and specific efforts — like public parks that draw a diverse mix of families — to encourage interactions among richer and poorer people."
"Churches and other religious organizations may have some lessons to teach other parts of society. Although many churches are socioeconomically homogeneous, those with some diversity tend to foster more cross-class interactions than most other social activities. Churchs have lower levels of what the researchers call socioeconomic 'friending bias.'"
"Youth sports, by contrast, have become more segregated, as affluent families have flocked to so-called travel teams."
Call to Action:
By prioritizing community access, the arts and sports can become hubs for not just social integration but also for personal/professional growth and lifelong health.
Portland Community Squash just finished our Theory of Change with the help of leaders from the Brookings Institution and the Journal of Sport for Development - pcsquash.com/theory-of-change (not mobile friendly). The model guides our commitment to community access, equity, and cohesion.
Sincerely, your friend in the work,