People most impacted by systemic inequities hold the greatest knowledge to ensure policies and programs meet the needs of the entire community. We know this because, in San Antonio, the last 10 years have proven it.
This is the power of a shared Community Vision: to hold institutions accountable to meeting the needs of San Antonians. In the midst of a global public health crisis, more than 12,000 San Antonians have reaffirmed and strengthened the shared vision for another decade. Sixty-five percent are girls and women, of which over 50 percent are people of color. And rising to the top of the areas San Antonians are most passionate about are education, economic development, and leadership.
Like communities across the world, the COVID-19 crisis has compounded systemic inequities in San Antonio. Sustainably recovering from the crisis and driving progress for another decade demands an even greater level of targeted, race-conscious investments informed by the San Antonians who are most impacted by systemic inequities.
In October 2020, USAA announced a three-year, $50 million commitment to advance racial equity in key areas including education and employment and to close the racial earnings gap. With grants awarded to 10 San Antonio-based nonprofit organizations, including four SA2020 Nonprofit Partners, this commitment has the potential to positively impact the well-being of San Antonians for generations to come.
SA2020 is proud to be one of the nonprofit organizations awarded a $250,000 grant from USAA. As the nonprofit responsible for driving progress toward San Antonio’s shared Community Vision, SA2020 will assess the impact of USAA’s historic contribution toward San Antonio’s Community Results. This initiative is particularly well-timed, as SA2020 will begin 2021 by unveiling the updated Community Vision to guide San Antonio through the next decade. USAA funding will further support our work in research, storytelling, and practice in order to drive progress toward that Vision.
SA2020 produces broadly accessible, responsive, and actionable research, so that individual community members and entire organizations are aware of San Antonio’s progress and challenges, as well as how they can lead change. On Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, SA2020 will release its annual Community Impact Report, complete with a comprehensive analysis of Community Indicators disaggregated by race and City Council District where available.
By tracking Community Indicators and partnering with more than 170 multi-sector organizations, SA2020 holds a unique bird’s eye view of San Antonio. We use this information to tell more complete stories of San Antonio’s progress. These stories are systems-focused and race-conscious, disrupting the harmful narrative that poor life outcomes are due to individual behaviors or that equity is a zero-sum game. In 2014, CEOs for Cities partnered with SA2020 to assess the economic impact of investing in action toward a community goal. They found just a 1 percent increase in college attainment, approximately 14,184 more college-educated people, would increase the total income in San Antonio by $1.38 billion.
SA2020 recognizes that we, as individuals, make up the larger systems we seek to change. We, therefore, cultivate leaders across the community and strengthen the capacity of multi-sector organizations to advance racial equity, utilize disaggregated data to track, strengthen, and communicate their organizational impact, and engage San Antonians in strengthening programs and services that affect them. Just this year, SA2020 virtually trained more than 100 leaders, representing 39 organizations, in advancing racial equity. In 2021, we will expand this programming and bring back The Board Game, our annual leadership development training and matching program for nonprofit board service.
Across this work, focusing explicitly—but not exclusively—on race offers the specificity necessary for moving the needle on Community Results, while creating organizational processes to address inequities in all forms.
San Antonio is the only large city in the U.S. that has a shared vision written by the people who call the city home, an independent nonprofit—SA2020—transparently reporting on progress, and more than 170 multi-sector Partners aligning to shared goals. As a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio and employing more than 35,000 people worldwide and 19,000 people locally, USAA’s contribution to a vision defined by the community stands as a national model for corporate philanthropic giving.