Casey Foundation Selects Memphis and Miami as Evidence2Success Communities

Posted March 22, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Casey Foundation is working with local partners to launch Evidence2Success sites in Memphis and Miami.

Credit: Jason Miczek for the Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has cho­sen Lib­er­ty City in Mia­mi and South City in Mem­phis as the newest com­mu­ni­ties to imple­ment Evidence2Success™, a frame­work that com­bines pub­lic health and pre­ven­tion sci­ence to help chil­dren and youth meet crit­i­cal behav­ioral, edu­ca­tion­al, emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal milestones.

The two cities join Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island; Mobile and Sel­ma, Alaba­ma; and Kearns Town­ship in Salt Lake Coun­ty, Utah, which are already car­ry­ing out the framework.

Evidence2Success helps pub­lic sys­tem lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ty res­i­dents work togeth­er to gath­er data on the needs and strengths of local youth, use the data to set pri­or­i­ty areas to improve well-being for young peo­ple and shift pub­lic fund­ing to address those needs with proven programs.


The Women’s Foun­da­tion for a Greater Mem­phis will lead the imple­men­ta­tion of Evidence2Success in Ten­nessee. The orga­ni­za­tion recent­ly unveiled a large-scale cam­paign to reduce pover­ty in Memphis’s 38126 zip code by 5% in five years and plans to inte­grate the Evidence2Success frame­work into these efforts.

We are com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing pos­i­tive out­comes and pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren and youth here in South City,” said Ruby Bright, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Women’s Foun­da­tion for a Greater Mem­phis. Our part­ner­ship with the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion to imple­ment Evidence2Success will allow us to con­tin­ue mov­ing for­ward with our Vision 2020 plan and enable young peo­ple in Memphis’s poor­est zip code to meet major devel­op­men­tal mile­stones, which we know will have a pos­i­tive rip­ple effect for generations.”

In addi­tion to the Women’s Foun­da­tion for a Greater Mem­phis, sev­er­al oth­er state and local lead­ers have pledged sup­port in imple­ment­ing Evidence2Success, includ­ing May­or Jim Strick­land; Shel­by Coun­ty Schools Super­in­ten­dent Dorsey Hop­son; and Mar­cia Lewis, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Mem­phis Hous­ing Author­i­ty. Their respec­tive offices are among sev­er­al that will con­tribute fund­ing to match the Casey Foundation’s ini­tial grant.


Efforts in Lib­er­ty City will be dri­ven by Hosan­na Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion Inc., a grass­roots faith orga­ni­za­tion. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi Miller School of Med­i­cine will serve as its strate­gic data partner.

Res­i­dents want to improve out­comes for their fam­i­lies here in Lib­er­ty City,” said the Rev. Charles L. Dink­ins, direc­tor of Hosan­na Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion Inc. They’ve been orga­niz­ing and mobi­liz­ing their neigh­bors, and they already have some incred­i­ble ideas to address the chal­lenges our young peo­ple are fac­ing. With sup­port from our city lead­ers for the Evidence2Success frame­work, we’re ready to take those efforts to the next level.”

In addi­tion to ini­tial fund­ing for evi­dence-based pre­ven­tion pro­grams, the Casey Foun­da­tion will pro­vide both Mem­phis and Lib­er­ty City with access to tools and tech­ni­cal assis­tance, includ­ing hands-on coach­ing, pub­lic financ­ing strate­gies and a youth sur­vey to gath­er data on strengths and needs. Using that data, com­mu­ni­ties will select proven pro­grams from the Blue­prints for Healthy Youth Devel­op­ment data­base.

Next Steps

We are deeply encour­aged by the strong part­ner­ships that already exist in both com­mu­ni­ties,” said Amoret­ta Mor­ris, direc­tor of the Casey Foundation’s nation­al com­mu­ni­ty strate­gies. Res­i­dents from across the two cities are com­ing togeth­er with oth­er key lead­ers to improve the expe­ri­ences of kids and fam­i­lies in these neigh­bor­hoods, and that’s exact­ly the type of com­mit­ment that’s need­ed for the Evidence2Success process to achieve results.”

As a next step, both cities will con­vene a com­mu­ni­ty board to gath­er data from the Youth Expe­ri­ence Sur­vey, which will be tak­en every two years by sixth‑, eighth‑, 10th- and 12th-graders to assess the strengths and needs of local young peo­ple. The data will be used to choose pri­or­i­ty areas for improv­ing well-being and to guide the board in select­ing evi­dence-based pro­grams that address those needs.

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