State of Opportunity Report Identifies Barriers to Opportunity

The Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO) has released its second annual State of Opportunity in America report in collaboration with Gallup, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Charles Koch Foundation, and Koch Industries. The report identifies the barriers to opportunity for Americans who need it most. Based on a survey of 5,784 Americans living in areas of concentrated poverty, the report provides insights into CAO’s three pillars of focus: criminal justice reform, economic mobility, and education reform.

The report this year includes a Criminal Justice Index (CJI) that provides a measure of the prevailing sentiment toward law enforcement and how the criminal justice system affects opportunity. CAO found that even though respondents said they worry whether the criminal justice system is fair to people like them, they would like the police to spend more time in their communities. The report also found these individuals often don’t have the resources they need to move for a job or start a business, and are unsatisfied with the educational opportunities available to their children.

Executive Director Gerard Robinson said CAO will use the findings from both surveys to develop solutions that will lead to “a happier, more fulfilling life for millions of Americans.”

“CAO and the scholars it supports are working to discover the best ways to break down the cultural, economic, and educational barriers that prevent too many Americans from reaching their potential.” said Brennan Brown, Director of Educational Partnerships for the Charles Koch Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with CAO on its innovative approach to solving some of the most vexing issues facing society by gathering this unique input from people experiencing these barriers first hand.”

Read more about the State of Opportunity in America report here.

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