The Social Mobility Project

Published in July 2020, The Contingent seeks to empower college graduates from communities of color and low-income rural areas through The Social Mobility Project.






Header Design Accent Image
Published Content > The Social Mobility Project

Download PDF

A Call to Action

In March 2020, the world stopped. In what has become the defining moment of a generation, COVID-19 is ripping through the Oregon economy in a way that will impact families and create a new epoch in our collective history. Prior to COVID-19, The Contingent committed to recalibrating our organization’s efforts in serving leaders from communities of color and low-income rural communities in Oregon. Instead of stepping back in a time of uncertainty, this Social Mobility Concept Paper became the central priority for our work in empowering leaders. We are convinced that now is the time to build aggressively to ensure that Generation Z pushes through this time of adversity to demonstrate and experience an increase in social mobility.

While Covid-19 has impacted every population and every person in some way, both the virus and its economic fallout have disproportionately impacted communities of color and the poor. Nationwide, data suggests that the burden of illness and death among communities of color and the poor are significantly higher than that of whites. Health and financial disparities between certain communities don’t present a new phenomenon; however, the coronavirus offers a chance to change the narrative and experience, or lack thereof, of social mobility for historically underserved communities in Oregon. Will Oregonians take this opportunity to support those populations who have been most impacted by this virus? Will we invest in communities of color to help increase income, reduce the wealth gap, and expand social mobility?

The Contingent exists to empower leaders and mobilize community for the common good. With a vision that by 2040, the leaders of Oregon will reflect the people who live here, The Contingent has made an agency commitment to support college graduates and young professionals from communities of color and low-income rural areas with the singular goal of advancing their economic and social status. Oregon’s young people of color and those from low-income rural communities face an overwhelming number of obstacles to success in the professional world. These obstacles inform our work and spur the development of community-based solutions designed to keep them on track and mitigate long-term barriers to social mobility. 

This concept paper explores the current realities that college graduates from communities of color and low-income rural areas face on their journey into the professional world. In collaboration with community partners and organizations, our goal is to increase social mobility, and in turn, decrease the racial wealth gap and income inequality that plagues these specific populations. The Contingent invites you to join us in a historic effort to empower college graduates from communities of color and low-income rural areas in Oregon.

More Published Content

Champions Academy Concept Paper

A concept paper and proposal from The Portland Leadership Foundation Portland, OR

The Child Welfare Initiative Concept Paper

Connecting Healthy Families with Vulnerable Children

Re-entry Concept Paper

In March 2019, The Contingent published the Re-entry Concept paper, which summarizes the challenges Oregonians face when a parent is incarcerated.

Take action.

Get involved at any level. Everyone and every perspective is vital in the movement to transform Oregon.