The Opportunity Forums: Building the Infrastructure of Opportunity

The Boston Foundation was host for the third and final forum of its three-chapter series on inequality in Boston: “Building the Infrastructure of Opportunity.”  The forum took a deep dive into income and inequality through two different lenses. It examined income disparities by cause, by location-based contributing factors, by race, ethnicity, gender, other factors, etc.  And it explored what Boston has been doing wrong for years (why the income inequality gap continues to grow larger) and what experts say has to be done to close it – not just Band-Aids, but practical solutions.

The four panelists included:

  • Noah Berger, President, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
  • Dr. S. Atyia Martin, Chief Resiliency Officer, City of Boston
  • Cathy E. Minehan, Dean, School of Management, Simmons College
  • Ana Patricia Muñoz, Director, Community Development Research and Communications, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

They each brought a unique perspective from their past lives in government or the private sector and offered first-time solution proposals.

The first forum in this series was in February, was based on the research of Raj Chetty, and was titled “The Shape of the City.” The topic was intergenerational mobility in Greater Boston. The second forum in the series was in spring and was based on the then-new book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” by Dr. Robert Putnam. The topic was the whole of the growing inequality gap. The third chapter in the series was broken into three “sections” – the first being a forum in September, called “The Crucial Early Childhood Years,” another in October that focused on job skills and workforce development and was titled “Developing the Educational and Skills Pathways to Economic Security.”

Download a PDF of the slide presentation from "Building the Infrastructure of Opportunity."