William Julius Wilson Institute Support for Communities

Discover how William Julius Wilson Institute offers support for communities across the country and how the organization plans to expand its work in the coming years.

Our Principles

Guided by a set of key principles, William Julius Wilson Institute at Harlem Children’s Zone helps neighborhoods build high-impact, cradle-to-career models.

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  • Programming within a neighborhood spans the full cradle-to-career continuum with clear links between all developmental stages.
  • Services may be provided by a single organization or a collection of organizations, but they should be coordinated and connected.
  • One organization / entity is accountable for all cradle-to-career outcomes within the neighborhood.
  • Though services may be delivered by multiple providers, there is a singular centralized body that takes responsibility across the continuum.
  • The accountable entity leverages data to inform outcomes.
  • The programming is rooted in and designed for a particular neighborhood, with a focus on the most historically underserved communities.
  • The effort engages systems leaders and leverages conditions of systems change to support the formation and sustaining of contiguous, accountable, neighborhood-based strategies.
  • Systems change and related efforts provide access to sustainable funding for efforts over time.
  • The approach includes a focus on K-12 education, given the central role the system plays in shaping children’s outcomes.
  • This focus may involve working to influence school systems, operating or partnering with a K-12 school, or operating or partnering with afterschool, weekend, and/or summer program.
  • The effort is led by members of the community being served.
  • Leaders should have deep connections and longstanding relationships within the community.

Organizations We Support

William Julius Wilson Institute can support your organization at various stages of its cradle-to-career development journey.

Stages of the Cradle-to-Career Development

It takes time and resources to build place-based, cradle-to-career efforts. William Julius Wilson Institute can support a range of communities, from those just starting on their journey to those that are highly sophisticated. An organization’s tier determines what type of support William Julius Wilson Institute provides. View the table below for more details on each tier.

We specialize in supporting organizations that:

  • Focus on a geography that serves marginalized populations and want to reach scale and saturation within a geographic area
  • Have proximate senior leadership with deep connection to and longstanding relationships within the community
  • Work in direct service, cradle-to-career program delivery or service coordination, preferably with a focus on achieving college and career readiness
  • Want to implement a full cradle-to-career model with high/centralized accountability and full continuity across the entire cradle-to-career pathway
  • Have opportunities to engage the local K-12 system
  • Have the desire and organizational bandwidth to work with WJWI and have the potential to successfully scale and improve outcomes

How We Support Organizations

Guided by a generation of evidence, William Julius Wilson Institute designs and delivers research-driven, community-tested strategies, and provides supports and tools to achieve measurable results.

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We help you codify:  

  • An understanding of the principles, key concepts, and core capacities required to implement community-based, cradle-to-career strategies
  • A strategic plan pursuing community-based, cradle-to-career strategies
  • Steps towards assembling necessary stakeholders and resources for doing so

We can help you codify:

A vision for a continuum of comprehensive, cradle-to-career programming in your community, provided either by one organization or through partnerships among direct service providers, with a strong mechanism for ensuring accountability for outcomes. Key components include:

  • Specific outcomes you seek to achieve
  • Numbers of young people and families you seek to serve
  • Evidence-based programs you may want to implement

We can help you codify:

A strategic plan for attaining a vision for a continuum of comprehensive, cradle-to-career programming over a specified timeframe, including budgetary, talent, and other infrastructure needs

We can help you identify:

Appropriate, attainable public and/or private funding streams to pursue

We can help you build: 

  • Organizational capacity to compete for and administer funds from identified funding sources
  • Program operations, foundational, and grant management capacity necessary to apply funding against an investible plan

We can help you sustain your:

  • Leadership, via support from and engagement in a growing community of practice
  • Financial strength, via information and capacity to access additional funding streams in the future

National Impact Map

William Julius Wilson Institute has served and cultivated a broad network of best-in-class, place-based partnerships and neighborhood-based organizations across the nation. View the map below to see the scale of our impact.