Amplifying the Voices of Families Who Need Change the Most

Resource type: Grantee Story

“Real social change has to be built from the ground up through the participation of millions of people speaking in their own voices,” says Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the 40-year-old Center for Community Change (CCC).

To ensure that policymakers hear the voices of low-income families, CCC focused in 2008 on strengthening and building relationships among community organisations nationwide, laying the groundwork for large-scale grassroots mobilisation. It also engaged in targeted policy advocacy.

In December 2007, CCC launched a coalition of 300 progressive community organisations, the Campaign for Community Values, which has advanced issues including poverty reduction and immigration reform. The Campaign and allies successfully advocated for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and CCC worked with other local and national organisations to win a provision in the legislation that ensures coverage for legal immigrant children.

CCC also grew its profile in the media and saw a fivefold increase in applications for its Generation Change leadership development programme. One year after the Campaign’s launch, CCC co-hosted 2,500 grassroots leaders at the first public event attended by high-level Obama Administration appointees. The event was the fruition of years of work to unite community organisations and develop a shared policy agenda.

Our three-year grant provides core support to CCC and its 501(c)4 arm, the Campaign for Community Change. CCC is a member of the Atlantic-funded Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition.

“It is critically important that the families most affected by the problems and policies being debated in Washington participate in solving them,” says Mr. Bhargava. “The HCAN coalition has harnessed incredible grassroots energy to a common purpose at a national level. The networks of families who were activated in support of SCHIP in 2008 are now even more energised for the health reform battle in front of us.”

The Campaign for Community Values is a coalition of 300 grassroots community organisations working to change public policies to make America work for everyone. The Center for Community Change is amplifying the voices of families who need change the most.

Related Resources

Issues:

Children & Youth, Immigration & Migration

Global Impact:

United States