Community Conversations: Innovate to Move Forward

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GrowthWorks talked to community organizations to understand how the pandemic has shaped services they offer to youth from low-income communities – and how their work is evolving.

When COVID-19 hit, we began a series of touchpoint discussions with a variety of generational cohorts ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, as well as people working on the frontline, e.g. teachers. The series, Consumer Conversations, helped uncover the challenges people were facing as the pandemic unfolded, their feelings and emotions, and what behaviors might stick as time goes on.

Over time, it became clear to us that there was a need to dig deeper into issues facing lower-income communities, often composed of people of color, that were being disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. To get a better sense of the challenges, we began a series of Community Conversations with senior leaders of organizations that serve youth from low-income communities. These organizations were tremendously challenged in 2020 with unprecedented disruption and system shock. We wanted to hear from them how COVID-19 has impacted their ability to serve and to highlight key takeaways for delivering impact to the most at-risk moving forward. Our topline summary is here:

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We as an organization are committed to being part of the effort to find solutions around inequality and racial injustice, to help in a way that is true and authentic to us and leverages what we know how to do best. Our expertise in research is how we hope to gather insight and connect the dots so others can be armed with relevant, actionable knowledge. If you work in the field of youth programming or other critical area in low income communities and are interested in talking with us, please reach out to

Elaine Taite

About The Author

Foresight Strategy Partner to Upland.