Solve’s 2021 Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge revealed many impressive solutions centered around how communities of color are using technology to advance racial equity and access economic opportunity, health, and safety.
One such solution is Thrive!, an organization that partners with local governments to assess and invest in breaking cycles of poverty. CEO and Founder, Omolara Fatiregun, shared during Solve at MIT 2022 that her journey to create Thrive! started with her family story. “My single, poor, Black, immigrant mom sent both of her kids to Harvard. How did that happen?” Fatiregun says.
She continued, “My mom worked at a university that made the decision to offer free college to their employees. This allowed mom to go to school at night, become a pharmacist, and transition us out of poverty. With the extra money she had, she enrolled my brother and me in better schools, which changed our lives forever, but we’re the lucky ones.”
Thrive's website calls out that 84% of children born in poverty will live in poverty for the rest of their lives.
“How do we stop this [inequality]?” Fetiregun asked. “The answer lies in budget decisions, but at the government level. State and local governments spend 3 trillion dollars a year but due to systemic racism, they perpetuate cycles of poverty.”
Thrive! Equity Audit software works to identify inequitable distribution of funding in government budgets by auditing government entities, scoring them, and providing counsel for equity-centered spending. Thrive! also bridges the gap between Black and Brown community leaders and government officials, encouraging them to “co-create next steps together,” shares Fatiregun.
Currently, Thrive! supports the budget cycles of agencies from coast to coast and in various sectors, but Fatiregun and her team hope to bring equity and economic mobility to even more communities.
“We are working together to make sure my family story is not the exception, but the rule.”
Find out how you can support Black and Brown innovators by learning about Solve’s Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program. You can also join us at the Indigenous and Antiracist Innovators Summit on June 16-17 in Minneapolis, which will convene innovators whose work is centered on antiracist technology and supporting Indigenous communities. Please register here.