ur Mission and Strategy is to identify and support innovative social innovation with strategic and financial resources to grow solutions and achieve sustainable and systemic transformative social impact against some of the biggest problems facing our community in education and health.
We support social entrepreneurship, the development by entrepreneurial individuals of new models or approaches to social problems that hold significant potential for substantive social impact when implemented through the creation (or re-invention) of an organization.
With respect to programs where we invest our financial, strategic and operational resources, we take a board seat and act as a day-to-day advisor to the organization, building a partnership with the social entrepreneur and creating an action plan tailored to the organization’s needs and maximizing community impact.
The education achievement gap, the difference in educational performance between Connecticut’s low-income students and their peers, is widest in CT largely because our low-income students perform in the bottom third of the nation. Low income correlates with low levels of academic achievement. In Connecticut, we have some of the wealthiest towns in the country as well as some of the poorest. This disparity in income contributes to the achievement gap, but it is not all a result of income differences. When compared to low-income students from other states, Connecticut’s low-income students score in the bottom third on some key assessment. Hartford’s North End is home to some of the most challenging education and income statistics in Connecticut. Middle and elementary schools in Hartford’s North End are some of the lowest-performing schools in the State according to state testing results. Our programs are designed to help and advocate for youth in the North End of Hartford. We intend on executing programs with a ‘laser focus’ on helping our kids close the disparities in education gap.
According to the U.S. Census, National Vital Statistics System, African American men have the lowest life expectancy and highest death rate compared to men and women in other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. The overall death rate for African American men is 1.3 times that of White Men. African American males have higher death rates than men from other racial groups for heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and certain cancers, including prostate, lung, and colon. Aside from higher death rates, African American men also have higher rates of hospital admissions for diabetes complications, hypertension, and angina than non-Hispanic White and Asian or Pacific Islander men.
Black males have the shortest life span of all racial or ethnic groups in the nation– a fact that has remained unchanged for at least the past 100 years. In fact, black men have the highest overall mortality rate across all geographic regions in the United States3 and across all age groups from birth to age 84, with the widest racial gaps in mortality occurring in the prime adult years, ages 25–54.
Racial disparities in men’s health exist across virtually all major chronic diseases. For example, in comparison to their white male counterparts, black men have a 40% higher incidence of type–2 diabetes, and they are 20% more likely to die from heart disease. Black males ages 22–44 are 20 times more likely to develop kidney failure due to high blood pressure than are white males in the same age group. Black men also have the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality in the country and the highest rates of hypertension in the world.
Our Take Charge of Your Health Initiative started as a focus on African American Men has evolved into a general approach encouraging all demographic groups to be proactive and responsible regarding their personal health prospects.