TCCC’s vision is that all children are embraced by our community as our own and supported to reach their full potential in school and in life, cradle to career. Our mission is to build collective power to transform education by changing systems to allow Black and brown children to achieve their goals. We have brought together a cradle to career network to address the persistent and systemic educational inequities in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. With the support of back-bone Team staff, we work to close the educational equity gaps at every stage along the cradle to career educational journey. Using the StriveTogether collective impact framework, we are aligning around a common vision, using data to hold each other accountable, taking collective action, and advocating for equitable, systemic change.
To do this, TCCC creates the space to have authentic dialogue, rooted in data and action, where the needs of children, students, families and adults are prioritized. We see equity as the recognition that the barriers marginalized people face are due to deliberate actions and biases and therefore require us to dedicate a greater amount of resources to dismantle them.
We are grateful to do this work on behalf of the community and partnerships and we take great pride and care of our unique role in fostering collaboration across sectors to make lasting change throughout the region.
Kenya Dunn received the 2020 “What Women Bring Award” for Women in Business by the YWCA Greater Charleston; in 2021, was a Like a Girl: Dare to Dream honoree; and in 2019, was nominated for Black Entertainment Television Network's Women in Corporate America award. Former corporate executive Kenya Dunn is the Chief Executive Officer of PFW Coaching and Consulting. With her proven track record of success in corporate America, community leadership and entrepreneurship, TCCC is bound for a successful transition with Dunn at the helm.
In this video, Dunn shares her top four priorities for Tri-County Cradle to Career.
StriveTogether® Theory of Action™
Tri-County Cradle to Career is the only organization
in the community that solves tough, community challenges by utilizing the five important elements
of the Collective Impact Approach:
Common Agendas • Shared Measurement • Mutually Reinforcing Activities • Continuous Communication • Backbone Support
We know that success happens faster and more often when groups work collaboratively, sharing ideas. TCCC is not a direct service provider or a funder. We do not look at the issue of education in isolation, but rather, we believe that the problems of education can best be tackled by individual groups representing the community coming to the table as one.
• Policy and program solutions built upon a solid racial equity foundation
• Solutions that balance technology with social and emotional learning
• A “new normal” for children and families navigating education and health systems in a COVID-19 environment
• Community-led solutions that provide a nexus of activity between parents, educators, businesses and service providers
We talk a lot about the Collective Impact Framework as an approach that in time can impact outcomes across the cradle-to-career continuum. Yet, I too often hear reasons why the framework hasn’t worked or won’t work, combined with a healthy dose of WIFM (what’s in it for me).
Despite the doubts, I remain a staunch supporter of the framework for a few reasons:
It makes sense. By now, we all can agree that no single organization can make progress on a set of regional indicators without engaging in data sharing, resource alignment, policy analysis, and shared language/communication. At this moment in time, we must have the capacity to focus on two things at once: programs and systems.
It is grounded in data. While data should not be misconstrued as information, it is a starting point for engaging communities and the sector in conversations about what the data is saying, what it isn’t, what questions must be asked of the data, and how to formulate strategies based on the analysis and overlay of qualitative and quantitative data. It also provides an opportunity for aligned sets of partners to better understand the effectiveness of their own interventions and that of a network of interventions.
It is, by definition, holistic. The challenges facing children across the cradle-to-career continuum today are intertwined and interdependent. If we put a child and family at the center of the discussion and pull back 10 feet, we begin to see the myriad sets of systems that surround and ultimately impact the child. How can we move forward with a focus on one thing when we know concretely that we have to make an impact on multiple issues and systems at the same time if we want to see something different for our children?
It is place based. Collective Impact requires us to move beyond zip code as we look at where to implement interventions. By using meta-analysis, we have the ability to understand place beyond zip code (think feeder particular school, community center, feeder pattern) to implement strategies, infuse resources, and reimagine policies and practices to meet the needs of people and communities.
Don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to read this piece written by Rebecca Parshall, Ph.D., director of strategy at Learn4Life. In it, Parshall shares research she did during her dissertation, focused on how collective impact can improve education outcomes.