Learn from Three Years of Doing Things Differently in the Twin Cities

Learn from Three Years of Doing Things Differently in the Twin Cities

An interview with Mary Kay Bailey, Project Director of the Corridors of Opportunity in the Twin Cities.


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 interview is with Mary Kay Bailey, Project Director of the Corridors of Opportunity, Living Cities’ TII partner in the Twin Cities. She talks about gaining commitment to doing things differently, how meetings of table representatives encouraged dialogue about systems change, and to shift funding flows to encourage equitable transit oriented development.

Watch her video, and read the full report on the first three years of TII.

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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