Tag Archive | economic empowerment

“I Believed in My Vision:” TransTech Empowers, Educates, & Employs the Trans Community

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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Angelica Ross, the founder of TransTech in Chicago, calls herself an accidental advocate. “I got into this work as an advocate for myself,” explains Miss Ross, a transwoman of color whose year-old social enterprise prepares trans people for careers in creative design and technology. “When I was younger, I was really just trying to get by and work a job. None of the LGBTQ organizations that were focused on marriage were advocating for what I needed—safe and stable employment opportunities.”

While the transgender movement may have reached a tipping point, there’s still a lot of work to be done around advancing employment and economic opportunity for the trans community. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans people experience twice the rate of unemployment and are nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty than the general population. By empowering, educating, and employing trans people—and especially trans youth—TransTech addresses these issues head on. For LGBT Pride Month, National Initiatives chatted with Miss Ross about her vision for TransTech, why social capital is key to economic empowerment, and employment as restorative justice.

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Five Ways to Integrate Asset Building into Employment Services for Homeless Jobseekers

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity and David Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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April is Financial Literacy Month, and we believe that every person deserves the opportunity to save and build wealth across their lifetime—including people experiencing homelessness. The most recent data show that 44% of households in the United States—and 80 percent of the poorest households—are liquid asset poor, meaning they have less than three months’ worth of savings. It’s safe to assume that people experiencing or at high risk of homelessness fall into this category and face significant challenges to building savings and wealth. In addition to connecting homeless jobseekers to employment, workforce development programs can foster their clients’ long-term economic success by integrating financial literacy and asset building into their services. Wondering how? Here are five strategies to help people experiencing homelessness meet their short term economic needs and build toward future goals.

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Historical Spotlight: Asa Philip Randolph

By Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, NTJN

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In honor of Black History Month, the National Transitional Jobs Network is presenting a blog series around the past, present, and future of employment for black males. The first blog post of the series focused on KISRA, a member of the B.MORE Initiative‘s Community of Practice. This blog is a historical spotlight on Asa Philip Randolph, a Civil Rights advocate and pioneer within the labor movement. Read on to learn about how Randolph changed the black labor movement.

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B.MORE Initiative Community of Practice Spotlight: An Interview with Carl Chadband of KISRA

By Caitlin Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN
with Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, NTJN

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In recognition of Black History Month, this February the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN) will produce a series of blogs related to Black Male Achievement.  To kick off our blog series, we talked with Carl Chadband, Chief Operating Officer of KISRA (the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc.) and a member of our B.MORE Initiative’s Community of Practice.

Located in Dunbar, West Virginia, KISRA operates education, employment, economic empowerment, and behavioral health programming for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in several West Virginia counties.  While Carl oversees almost all of KISRA’s operations in his role as Chief Operating Officer, he is especially committed to opening doors to employment and economic advancement for low-income black men, including black men returning from incarceration.

In this conversation, Carl discusses the power of entrepreneurship for black men; shares the importance of guaranteeing the full rights of citizenship to people returning home from incarceration; and explains why even human rights champion Mahatma Gandhi might face chronic unemployment today.

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