October Newsletter 
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HuffPo Highlight

Thinking Beyond the California Comeback

This piece is part of a new series on Economic Security featuring key Insight Partners.

Chris Hoene, Executive Director of the California Budget & Policy Center, in partnership with our President and CEO, Henry A.J. Ramos, published an oped regarding California's economic comeback and how the state can stay on top. Read more here...

Midwestern Regional Summit

Don’t miss the Midwestern Regional Summit on Fair Hiring, Monday, October 26th in Chicago. Representatives of sector partnerships, the Safer Foundation, and Jack Mills, the Insight Center’s Chief Workforce Strategy Officer and Director of the National Network of Sector Partners, will speak on Innovative Partnerships and Strategies that Strengthen Business and the Workforce.

Businesses including a Suncast Products representative will speak on The Bottom Line: What matters most to employers. Businesses and others, including a Johns Hopkins Hospital Health Systems representative, will speak on Past, Present, and Future Standards of Practice: Criminal record screening in employment.

Registration is free and breakfast and lunch will be provided to participants. Space is limited, therefore we ask individuals to register as soon as possible. 

If you share our goals and value all NNSP can offer, please consider renewing your NNSP membership or becoming a new member today!

Webinar Recap

Watch last month's "Economic Security... Towards an Inclusive Movement for Healthy, Vibrant Communities" featuring our own Annette Case and Michael Toye here

Learn more about Economic Security on our website

Welcome Our Newest Funders! 

The Insight Center is proud to report several important new grant relationships that will help us to advance key aspects of our work on boys and men of color and the economy during 2015-2016. Andrus Family Foundation in New York, PG&E, and California Community Foundation

We are pleased indeed to add these important new partners to our portfolio of supporters. Please join us in welcoming them to our Insight Center family!

The New York-based Andrus Family Fund, whose support will help us to build out our regional employment equity work focusing on engaging employers in voluntary efforts to train, hire, and advance men of color in key growth industry sectors, like health and biotech in Northern California, the Chicago Metropolitan Area and Greater Boston.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, whose funding will help to advance our Northern California regional employment equity work focusing on boys and men of color in Oakland and Richmond, CA.

California Community Foundation, whose funding will help to support a public release event and related communication campaign for a new book we have co-produced with the University of Houston, to examine the economic impacts of California prison policy relative to the life prospects and societal contributions of Latino young men and boys.

Insight Center in the News

Communication is an integral part of Insight's work. We believe that changing the conversation and informing our communities is an essential part of driving real, lasting change. 

Our very own Annette Case and Elise Gould, from Economic Policy Institute collaborated on an oped titled, "Why the Poverty Rate Isn't Going Down" featured in The American Prospect. Read the full article here

Styrk featured our research on single seniors and featured our tool, the Elder Index, in a recent study titled "Study: Solano, Napa elderly couples faring well, but many single seniors among 'hidden poor'". Read the full article here

Have you visited our new site?

Check out our new and updated Insight Center Website! This new, more robust web presence provides better access to the tools you are already familiar with, and an array of new features to better engage our community.

October News 

The End of Work

Twenty years ago, economist and social commentator Jeremy Rifkin wrote a provocative and foretelling book called The End of Work. In the book, Rifkin documented the coming decline of good, sustainable jobs in America and across the developing world. According to Rifkin, the rise of information technology and robotics, coupled with the diminishment of public resources and will to invest in education, infrastructure enhancements, and wholly new and more sustainable industries were taking us down a dangerous road. As he saw it, without a significant reorientation, America and other industrial nations were on a no-win path to a structural economic decline that would be characterized by permanently high unemployment, stagnation in consumer spending, and growing social discord.

In the years since The End of Work was published, many of the dangers he foresaw relative to the American and global economy have proven well-founded. Exacerbating these trends has been a dangerous, expanding divide between an increasingly elite class of wealth and asset owners and a growing cohort of the economically vulnerable—including individuals, families and communities that once fell squarely in the middle class.

Our present path is not only economically problematic, but also politically untenable. In the absence of greater economic security and prosperity sharing, America and the world appear to be on a collision course with more social and political unrest in the years to come. But more inequality and violence are avoidable if we are smart and intentional in our response.

Twenty years ago, Rifkin argued for a much larger share of public and private investment in the social economy as an essential strategic response to the imperfect trend lines he accurately predicted then for the traditional private economy. He urged greater attention to the work of nonprofit corporations, associations and social enterprises, whose efforts offered both prospects for meaningful new employment and essential societal problem solving. 

Investing more deeply in the social innovations and problem solving capacities that are increasingly emerging from the social economy would be a smarter way for public leaders to advance both national economic and employment gains, as well as innovative problem solving. The independent sector represents a growing share of the national economy—including about 10 percent of the national employment market and nearly a trillion dollars contributed to the national economy in 2012; it continue to provide a robust platform, moreover, for advancing promising new economic ideas and models that better serve people where and how they live.

By both creating jobs and solving important human and community problems in areas ranging from neighborhood recycling and urban gardening to veterans re-employment and youth engagement in the arts, social economy and social enterprise pursuits offer meaningful and valuable investments in the successful future of our economy and civic culture.

Over the coming months we will profile the great work of Insight partners who are part of this independent sector - thought leaders, researchers, advocates, and service providers who may well be our best hope for a future of justice and prosperity for all Americans. This month, we feature a compelling joint oped with Chris Hoene, Executive Director of the California Budget & Policy Center. 

Please read on for further updates about our newest research initiatives, opportunities to engage, and access to new free communications tools that we hope you will use to further your important work.

With gratitude for your continued partnership.

Henry A. J. Ramos
President & CEO


If you resonate with what you read in the balance of this newsletter, please consider making a donation to the Insight Center that can help us advance our work. You can donate to us directly online by clicking on the button below.

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In Memoriam:
Thomas A. Hagemann

It is with the greatest sadness that I am called upon to report here to our Insight Center circle of friends and supporters the recent death of Tom Hagemann, one of my dearest personal friends and a leading member of our National Advisory Board.

Tom passed away, tragically, on October 7 following a bicycle accident while vacationing with his family and some close friends in Vermont. We will miss him greatly.

Tom Hagemann was a senior partner at the Houston law firm of Gardere, Wynn & Sewell LLP. He was only 59 years old at the time of his untimely death. His passing is a shock to the many who knew and loved him for his evident passion for life, law and justice, politics and art (above all theatre), food and travel; and, more than anything else, his beautiful family and his many friends. Tom was the best man I have ever known. He was a wonderful husband and father to his wife of nearly 25 years, Christi, and their kids Emma and Max, both currently college undergraduates.

Tom always gave more than he took, in every relationship, in every situation. I hope those who read this in memoriam will think of and pray for Tom and especially his surviving family members. The world just cannot be the same without the light that Tom Hagemann brought to it. He was a damned good husband, father and lawyer, to be sure; but he was even more than that. Tom was a gifted playwright and artist, an avid traveler and explorer, a tremendous writer, and the best friend I could ever hope to have.

Upon learning of Tom’s untimely passing, Henry G. Cisneros, chairman of the Insight Center’s National Advisory Board said, “Tom Hagemann was a man of deep commitment to what our nation stands for at its best. He was for justice and fairness. He was for equal opportunity and a better way to fulfill our nation’s promises. We mourn his passing and express our deepest condolences to his wife of many years, Christi, and his children Emma (age 21) and Max (age 18).”
During his time on the Insight Center National Advisory Board, Tom made especially important contributions to recent successful efforts to bolster our legal services support center work and impacts. In this connection, he actively helped to inform our next stage strategy to advance this work as part of a special task force we assembled for those purposes.

According to Albert Moreno, former chief legal counsel for Levi Strauss & Co., who also sits on our National Advisory Board and led our legal services program review, “Tom was an important contributor to the Insight Center’s recent efforts to advance its legal services work in important new directions. His commitment to our work and his unique voice will be sorely missed.”

A Memorial Service will be held in Tom’s honor in Houston on October 24. We will always remember him as a cherished member of our Insight Center family. May he rest in peace.
Henry A. J. Ramos

Insight Chief Asset Building Officer at CBCF's 45th Annual Leg. Conference

Insight's Anne Price, Managing Program Director and Chief Asset Building Officer, was invited to serve as a panelist for the policy session, Fixing the Crisis in African American Economic Security: Securing the economic future for the Black community, during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). The conference was held September 19–20, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The policy session sought to discuss the report from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. It found huge disparities still remain between African Americans and other Americans in the realms of poverty, income and wealth, employment, housing, and education. The panel examined the nature of the economic challenges facing the African American community as well as efforts that are underway to address them.

To learn more and to view videos from the conference, click here

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