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Next week, the United States will mark the anniversary of its independence from Great Britain. In our institutions, in our professional roles, and in our personal lives, we must recommit to upholding the values and self-evident truths of this nation. The social contract of the US demands that we actively combat racism, promote justice, and actualize equitable opportunity for all.
We must recognize and confront centuries of institutionalized racism, colonization, violence, and the continued oppression of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities across the country. In recent weeks, millions in the US and around the world have marched, demanding real action and change for a truth that is self-evident: Black Lives Matter.
Further, the Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating racial inequities throughout the country. To date, the White Mountain Apache and Navajo Nation lead the country in Covid-19 cases per capita and Black Americans are dying at a substantially higher rate than White Americans.
There is much work to be done, over months and years, to repair centuries of injustice. Each action may be small, but it is more important than ever.
Today, Solve is proud to launch—in partnership with the Morgridge Family Foundation, New Profit, and others—the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge.
With $625,000 in prize funding available, as well as in-kind support for finalists and winners, the Challenge is an opportunity to identify, support, and scale promising solutions that accelerate pathways to current and future employment—especially for underserved communities. Longstanding racial and gender injustices in the US continue to hinder the education, employment, and earning potential of historically marginalized communities. Those with solutions that focus on non-coastal states, US interior regions, and/or racial justice are highly encouraged to apply by November 9, and can watch the launch on Monday, June 22 at 11am ET here.
“We have a rare opportunity to accelerate solutions which are built by diverse teams and work for the communities most impacted by centuries of unfair policies and practices,” says Dr. Angela Jackson, Partner, Learn to Earn Fund, New Profit.
At Solve, we also understand that to disrupt institutionalized inequities in the US, we cannot ignore the Native peoples of this nation and must support the tremendous work of Indigenous innovators across the country. We are thrilled to be offering the third year of our US Indigenous Communities Fellowship, which is open for applications through July 7.
As always, we seek community-based solutions that harness technology, broadly defined. We want to be clear that technology can be thousands of years old and cutting-edge. Indigenous agricultural practices, for example, have existed for millennia, and yet remain some of the most sustainable and resilient technologies around. No one is better suited to solving the challenges in Indigenous communities than the members of those very communities—and for too long our society has failed to recognize this.
The values and truths of this nation are only self-evident when every day we choose to uphold them and make them so. Indeed, everyone has a critical obligation and role to play in actualizing opportunity for all and creating an anti-racist society, and Solve is committed to this essential responsibility, both within the US and globally.
We need your help to find great solutions, partners, and funding. Like everything we do, we seek to build a diverse network of stakeholders to support innovators everywhere to solve the greatest challenges of our time. We hope you’ll join us.
Join Solve for our inaugural Solving from Anywhere speaker series on Tuesday, June 23 from 1:30-2:30pm ET. This session will feature Angela Jackson, Partner, Learn to Earn Fund, New Profit; David Hall, Managing Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Revolution; and Carrie Morgridge, Vice President and Chief Disrupter, Morgridge Family Foundation—in conversation about reimagining and accelerating pathways to employment for underserved communities. Register here.
You can also donate to the Covid-19 Fund to support the Indigenous Fellows we work with. All donations are tax-deductible and will go directly to the Fellows.