Learn from Three Years of Alignment in Baltimore

Learn from Three Years of Alignment in Baltimore

An interview with Kurt Sommer, Director of the Baltimore Integration Partnership.

The Integration Initiative began in 2010 with the promise of transforming the lives of low-income people and the communities in which they live in cities across the country. The site partners in The Integration Initiative (TII)took a different approach to community development by building cross-sector tables and combining philanthropic grants with capital investments. The sites aimed to achieve their results not by delivering individual programs, but instead focused on changing the underlying systems that produced poor outcomes for the low-income people in their communities.

Recently, Living Cities released our evaluation report on TII’s first three years of work. The report is an extensive look at the successes achieved and challenges faced by each site. It outlines what it takes to alter the way government, nonprofit and business leaders work together to strengthen communities. It provides lessons learned for funders and practitioners on how to dramatically improve outcomes for low-income people in America’s cities.

The release of this evaluation report is an opportunity for those involved in the work to reflect on their biggest lessons learned.

Here, we feature Kurt Sommer, Director of the Baltimore Integration Partnership. He discusses how to gain alignment with critical stakeholders, securing policy changes through collective action, and inspiring action through having hard, honest conversations.

Watch his video below, and read the full report on the first three years of TII. You can also watch an interview from our partners in DetroitNewark and the Twin Cities to learn more lessons from TII.

You can also read Baltimore’s local evaluation for more detail on the site’s work, outcomes and challenges.


Jeff Raderstrong
Jeff captures lessons learned from The Integration Initiative sites for sharing with Living Cities' members and the field more broadly. Jeff is also the founder of UnSectored, a community platform for re-thinking social change.


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