America’s biggest race is just beginning. It's the race to create equal opportunity in our nation once again and to restore the belief that the American Dream can still be achieved.
Disillusionment, despair and unemployment hold court these days in a country that was once thought of as a place where dreams could be turned into reality. But the reality right now, despite unemployment numbers dropping by a statistically insignificant .1% on Friday from 9.1% to 9%, is that job and life opportunities are dismal, even non-existent for many, in what once was thought of as the land of endless opportunity.
So what does opportunity look like these days in a country that’s barely recognizable anymore?
For Luis Ubinas, who came to New York as a child with his parents and lived in alphabet city on the Lower East Side, it is “the unshakable belief that the next day will be better.” Ubinas, who has gone on to become the president of the Ford Foundation, says that “opportunity is synonymous with what brought my family to this country.” In other words, hope. Hope of a better, richer, fuller life.
But hope has flown out the window for many in America. Which is why Opportunity Nation, an organization dedicated to creating more opportunity, jobs and social mobility in America, put on their first summit in New York last Friday at Columbia University. Under their parent organization, Be the Change, Opportunity Nation is developing a diverse, star-powered coalition from across all sectors that works in unison to help solve what’s ailing this great nation of ours. “Bi-partisanship is our sweet spot,” says Mark Edwards, the executive director of Opportunity Nation.