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September 27, 2020
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39 Health Systems Declare: It is Undeniable, Racism is a Public Health Crisis

39 health systems in 45 states and Washington, DC commit to addressing racism and the public health disparities caused by racism.

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Climate Change: The Other Health Crisis

Hospitals are often major employers, and they command large budgets for services such as catering and laundry. But too often, that spending benefits national corporations rather than the hospital’s neighbors. In the depths of the Great Recession, The Democracy Collaborative co-founder Ted Howard set

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Template for a Cooperative Network of Small Architecture Practices

Worker-owned cooperatives are increasingly taking hold in the U.S in response to extreme pressures on American workers in the current economy. A leading organization in this movement is the Democracy Collaborative, that has created a series of worker-owned coops in Cleveland, OH, called the

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Opinion: Mercy Health committed to addressing health care inequality

Mercy Health highlighted their commitment to the Healthcare Anchor Network and anchor mission work in an opinion piece in The Cincinnati Enquirer. “In November 2019, Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) was one of several leading health systems across the country announcing its commitment to the

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HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital ranked #1 hospital in Massachusetts

Steve Roach, interim president for HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, highlights the Healthcare Anchor Network’s role helping the hospital pursue its Anchor Mission work of investing in the local community. “Our commitment to community health is exemplified by our work with Anchor Mission initiative

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June 23, 2020
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Racial & Ethnic Economic Inequality and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Democracy Collaborative prepared a report, created for the Healthcare Anchor Network, that looked at how racial and ethnic disparities in the economy are showing up in the COVID-19 pandemic and in the public policy response to the pandemic. The report also covers how the economic effects of the pandemic will likely impact racial and ethnic inequality.

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Health Care Organizations Expand Their Anchor Institution Roles

COVID-19 is bringing a new level of attention to the deadly effect of health inequities in our country, particularly the disparate impact on people of color, immigrants, low-wage service workers and those without access to health care. We need to deepen a national conversation and accelerate action

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March 18, 2020
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HAN Public Comments on Fair Housing Act Proposed Changes

The Healthcare Anchor Network submitted public comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), expressing our opposition to HUD’s proposed changes to the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.

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March 2, 2020
HAN's Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit

Healthcare Anchor Network's (HAN) Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit

The Anchor Mission Communications Toolkit provides communications tips, tools and examples from anchor institutions, to help with the work of communicating an anchor mission approach.

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September 9, 2019
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CUMU and The Democracy Collaborative partner with 31 colleges and universities to launch the Anchor Learning Network

The Anchor Learning Network is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), a national organization dedicated to connecting urban universities and their community partners, and The Democracy Collaborative, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It builds on the success of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a year-long pilot program launched in 2018, in bringing colleges and universities together to jointly explore how they can adopt an anchor mission: using their place-based assets—educational and operational—to advance the well-being of the communities they call home.

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May 29, 2019
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Harvard School of Public Health Highlights UMass Memorial's Anchor Journey

Hospitals and health systems, particularly nonprofit ones, are challenged with providing top healthcare in ever changing and challenging financial, regulatory, and service environments. They manage thousands of staff and provide care to nearly every American at some point in their lives. Given these

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Anchor Collaboratives: Building bridges with place-based partnerships and anchor institutions

How anchor institutions can collaborate locally, leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize their communities.

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Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions

This report focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities.

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August 10, 2018
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The Anchor Collaborative Convening

On June 11th and 12th, The Anchor Collaborative Convening brought together 135 leaders and champions of anchor collaborations from 35 communities across the US and Canada.

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July 23, 2018
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International research project launched to explore role of healthcare institutions in local economies

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) will today announce the launch of a joint research project to explore the role of the NHS within local economies across the UK.

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Embracing an Anchor Mission: ProMedica’s all-in strategy

This report offers an in-depth look at how the Toledo, Ohio based health system ProMedica (a member of the Healthcare Anchor Network) aligned its institutional operations and clinical practice to better tackle the social determinants of health, and serves a useful guide for hospitals and health systems embarking on similar shifts.

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April 10, 2018
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The Democracy Collaborative and CUMU Launch the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative in Partnership with 31 Colleges and Universities

31 colleges and universities across the United States have been selected as inaugural members of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a national collaboration designed to develop and share new strategies for deploying higher education’s intellectual and place-based resources to enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities they serve. The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) , a national organization dedicated to connecting urban universities and their partners, and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a national research institute developing strategies for a more democratic economy, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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October 9, 2017
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Universities Move Towards Buying, Hiring and Investing Locally

Monday, October 9, 2017 Denver, Colorado – Today the Democracy Collaborative is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), the nation’s largest membership organization of urban university leaders, at its annual conference. CUMU members are

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Anchor Dashboard report

Higher Education’s Anchor Mission: Measuring place-based engagement

This report examines how an ongoing — and expanding — effort to track the impact of colleges and universities on the financial and social well-being of their surrounding neighborhoods is helping these anchor institutions align their resources to build stronger community partnerships and create more inclusive local economies.

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The Anchor Mission Playbook

Anchor institutions can play a key role in helping the low-income communities they serve by better aligning their institutional resources — like hiring, purchasing, investment, and volunteer base — with the needs of those of communities. The recommendations in this “playbook,” drawn from research carried out to help Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) align around its Anchor Mission, are being published to help other hospitals and health systems accelerate their own efforts to drive institutional alignment with community needs.

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Advancing the Anchor Mission of Healthcare

In 2016, leaders from 40 health systems gathered in Washington, DC to explore the potential to more fully harness their economic power to inclusively and sustainably benefit the long-term well-being of American communities. This report summarizes the events of that convening and next steps, inviting your hospital or health system to join the network and help advance the Anchor Mission of healthcare in your institution, in your community, and nationally.

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November 17, 2016
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Toolkit for Transformation

The Democracy Collaborative today introduced the second in a toolkit series Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities, to help health systems use their hiring, purchasing and investing power to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities and communities of color. Inclusive, Local

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Hospitals aligned for healthy communities: Inclusive, local sourcing

This toolkit on local and diverse purchasing showcases examples of how hospitals and health systems are reevaluating their roles as their community’s largest purchasers, understanding that a thriving local economy is fundamental to a healthy community.

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UNM Health Sciences launches 'hire local, buy local' initiative to boost economy

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, with the support of The Democracy Collaborative, initiated the Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque initiative to spur local economic development. The initiative includes growing local jobs, supporting local agriculture, and providing better access
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September 26, 2016
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Press Release: Toolkit for Transformation

The Democracy Collaborative today introduced Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities, a toolkit series to help health systems use their hiring, purchasing and investing power to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities and communities of color. Inclusive, Local Hiring: Building the Pipeline to a Healthy Community is the first installment in the series, developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Hospitals aligned for healthy communities: Inclusive, local hiring

Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

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"Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley

"Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley

In partnership with Northland College’s Center for Rural Communities and WITC, a League Forum features Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs at the Democracy Collaborative. She presents on her research and travels around the US visiting cities who noted for their innovative
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Cleveland’s Greater University Circle Initiative: An anchor-based strategy for change

Cities are increasingly turning to their “anchor” institutions as drivers of economic development, harnessing the power of these major economic players to benefit the neighborhoods where they are rooted. This case study shows how the Greater University Circle Initiative achieved this coordination among three large anchor institutions located in Cleveland’s park-like University Circle area—almost one-square mile of world-class educational, cultural, and health institutions.

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The Good Life: Working Together to Promote Opportunity and Improve Population Health and Well-being

Our President and co-founder Ted Howard co-authored a report entitled Can Hospitals Heal America’s Communities with Tyler Norris of Kaiser Permanente, cited here: “Life expectancy is lower and disease morbidity is higher in the United States than in other high-income countries.1 This situation

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NASEM Health and Medicine Division Panel: David Zuckerman

The Democracy Collaborative’s Healthcare Engagement Manager David Zuckerman speaks at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel, discussing community wealth building, and specifically how anchor institutions can leverage their purchasing power for increased local impact.
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Can hospitals heal America's communities?

Can hospitals and health systems heal America’s communities? This paper illuminates the possibilities and explores how “all in for mission” is the emerging healthcare model.

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October 21, 2015
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From cafeterias to farms: How students are mobilizing their universities to build a more local, just, and sustainable food system

How are student activists uniting to change the food system from the inside? The Real Food Challenge is a national campaign to restructure university cafeteria buying structures for a more equitable, sustainable future of food.

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Study: Hospitals in New Orleans purchase few goods, services from local small businesses

N.O. agency says redirected spending could spur economy Compared with public agencies and large companies, hospitals in New Orleans purchase few goods and services from local small businesses, according to a study released Monday. That’s at least in part because local hospitals lack procurement

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Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis

Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis

This report, prepared in partnership with New Orleans-based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs.

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Cooperation Jackson

Community Wealth Building in Jackson, Mississippi: Strategic considerations

This report, prepared by The Democracy Collaborative and submitted to Cooperation Jackson, highlights opportunities to build a cooperative economy in Jackson, Mississippi linked to anchor institution procurement.

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What’s the greater promise in community foundations for the future?

A key reason that researchers of 30 of North America’s most innovative community foundations were attracted to the only Canadian community foundation highlighted in their report was its collaborative work. Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) received a spot in the New Anchor Mission for a New

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January 7, 2015
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A Wave Is Rising

“You can feel the toe of the tsunami,” said one person in the circle. “There’s a great wave rising, and you can feel the power of it, even though it’s just beginning.” The time was mid-December 2014, and I was seated with 20 others in a circle at a San Francisco gathering of community foundations wanting to learn more about impact investing as a tool for building community wealth. Someone else shared a new report on Millennials, and how they are seeking jobs and investments with meaning.

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Impact investing at Vancity Community Foundation exemplifies trend toward more innovation among community foundations

Though a recent report about innovative community foundations focuses primarily on the U.S., its findings ring true for some Canadian community foundations also doing pioneering work in their field. Vancouver-based Vancity Community Foundation is one of these. Released in November, the “A New Anchor

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A Wave Is Rising

Community foundations are seeing growing activity in building community wealth. “You can feel the toe of the tsunami,” said one person in the circle. “There’s a great wave rising, and you can feel the power of it, even though it’s just beginning.” The time was mid-December 2014, and I was seated

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December 9, 2014
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Webinar Recording: A New Anchor Mission for a New Century

In this webinar from December 4, 2014, Marjorie Kelly and Violeta Duncan presented the findings of their new Democracy Collaborative report, “A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth,” along with experts from the field

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Community Foundations as Local Wealth-Builders

Originally published in Shareable on December 8, 2014. Ted Howard, Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative, calls it “the next great advance for American philanthropy”: the embrace, by a small but not insignificant group of community foundations, of an “anchor mission.” An anchor mission

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November 19, 2014
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Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Takoma Park, MD — November 19th, 2014 The Democracy Collaborative, with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has convened a group of anchor institution leaders from six universities to explore how to better align their operations to benefit the places they call home

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Mayor Brown Announces Task Force Members For Economic Development Initiative in Northwest Jacksonville

Goal is to Create Jobs with Innovative, Community-Based Economic Development Mayor Alvin Brown today announced the members of a newly-formed task force to guide a Community Wealth Building Initiative that will focus on new strategies to create jobs and business opportunities in Northwest

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A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth

This report offers an overview of how 30 representative community foundations, large and small, urban and rural, are working toward adopting this new anchor mission.

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Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation featured in national report

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is one of 30 groups featured in a national report released on Monday by The Democracy Collaborative called “A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community Foundations Deploying All Resources to Build Community Wealth.” The local group is part of what The

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November 12, 2014
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Infographics: Community Foundations and the "New Anchor Mission"

Drawn from our new report, A New Anchor Mission for A New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth.

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Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown renews focus on small businesses

From the Florida Times-Union The crowd at Mayor Alvin Brown’s first Business Builder conference in early 2012 still bore the wounds of the Great Recession, casting a sense of guarded optimism among the budding entrepreneurs who turned out for the event. Brown convened his third annual Business

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September 23, 2014
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The Cleveland Model: How the Evergreen Cooperatives Build Community Wealth

The Cleveland Model brings community economic development and the purchasing power of anchor institutions like hospitals and universities together into a single coordinated strategy to build democratized wealth and cooperative business ownership in low-income neighborhoods. Find out more about the
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September 17, 2014
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Models for mobilizing multiple anchor institutions

Communities across the country are recognizing the tremendous resources nonprofit anchor institutions (like hospitals and universities) can provide as engines of inclusive and equitable economic development. Increasingly, cities – including Mayors – are launching comprehensive and coordinated strategies to leverage their local anchors to address otherwise potentially intractable problems of unemployment and disinvestment.

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September 12, 2014
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Infographic: The Cleveland Model

Our infographic explains how the Cleveland Model functions and how it includes the entire community to keep wealth local.

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A Community Comes Together

An interview with the Democracy Collaborative’s David Zuckerman on the Community Wealth Building Roundtable convened by Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown.

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May 2, 2014
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Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Investing Outside Institutional Walls

This webinar, organized by the Association for Community Health Improvement and the American Hospital Association, outlined opportunities for hospitals to promote health through economic development and community investment. The discussion used the findings of The Anchor Dashboard as a starting
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April 30, 2014
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How to Grow an Equitable Economy through Anchor Institution Strategies

Steve Dubb presented on anchor institution strategies and equitable development for a PolicyLink webinar in April 2014. Anchor institutions — large institutions such as universities, medical centers, utilities, and government agencies that cannot easily move location — are often major employers
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Florida Times-Union: "Leaders working toward 'brighter day' for Northwest Jacksonville's economy"

“A group of Jacksonville leaders trekked to snowy Cleveland in February to check out an economic initiative they hope to use as a model for the struggling northwest part of the city. The people behind that Cleveland initiative, a University of Maryland-based nonprofit called The Democracy

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February 28, 2014
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Creating Jobs by Building Community Wealth

Our research director Steve Dubb is joined by REDF’s Carla Javits for a conversation around “Big Ideas for Job Creation” at the Aspen Institute, focusing on transforming anchor institution procurement to strengthen local economies and using social enterprise to create employment opportunities. Ben
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December 13, 2013
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Redefining Rustbelt: Ted Howard on The Anchor Dashboard

This is an adapted excerpt version of Democracy Collaborative Executive Director Ted Howard’s presentation to a four-city teleconference organized by the regional Federal Reserve Banks in Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia. The full transcript of his remarks is below. The New Rustbelt –
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December 5, 2013
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Community Benefit and Anchor Institutions: Linkages and Opportunities

This webinar, organized by Community Catalyst and the Democracy Collaborative, explored how community benefit requirements, especially in the wake of new Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations governing Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA), can provide a powerful and effective framework to drive
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December 4, 2013
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The Anchor Dashboard at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

In November, The Democracy Collaborative’s Ted Howard and Sarah McKinley, along with Charles Rutheiser of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, presented The Anchor Dashboard as part of a national webcast at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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November 20, 2013
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Ted Howard at the 2013 MAS Summit for NYC

The Democracy Collaborative’s executive director Ted Howard was invited to moderate this discussion on the role of anchor institutions at the Municipal Art Society’s annual gathering in 2013.
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The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning institutional practice to meet low-income community needs

This study introduces a framework to assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.

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Achieving The Anchor Promise: Improving outcomes for low-income children, families and communities

This report presents research to assist anchor institutions in measuring their community impact.

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Raising Student Voices: Student Action for University Community Investment

This report connects struggling communities to local institutional wealth through engaging student activism, profiling 3 administration-led initiatives and 3 student-led initiatives, as well as 5 potential future partnerships.

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February 28, 2013
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Hospitals As Anchor Institutions: Linking Community Health and Wealth

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, discussions of healthcare policy in national politics and the mainstream media have overwhelmingly focused on the law’s impact on health insurance rather than public health. For example, the 2 percent of the population that will be affected by the individual mandate provision have received an inordinate level of attention.

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Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission

This report provides an in-depth look at six hospitals in five cities that are rethinking their economic and community engagement strategies.

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The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth

This report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at M.I.T. focuses on the path-breaking Vision 2010 Program implemented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by University Hospitals System.

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Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Local Job Creation and Wealth Building

Co-published by two research centers of the University of California, Berkeley, this paper from the Democracy Collaborative explores the impact of anchor institutions on wealth building and job creation in low-income communities.

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The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads

Authored by Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steve Dubb as part of Michigan State University Press’ series on Transformations in Higher Education, the book features ten in-depth cases and examines how universities, by pursuing an anchor institution mission to improve surrounding communities in cooperation

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Linking Colleges to Communities: Engaging the University for Community Development

How can universities leverage their resources for community benefit? This report from The Democracy Collaborative outlines a comprehensive strategy to meet that goal.

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