Our Strategy for Improving Economic Mobility

Using the Urban Institute’s Upward Mobility Framework, Mobility Metrics, and Planning Guide to narrow the economic divide in Mobile, Alabama

The Upward Mobility Framework has five pillars that track mobility from poverty:

  1. Opportunity rich and inclusive neighborhoods
  2. High-quality education
  3. Rewarding work
  4. Healthy environment and access to good health care
  5. Responsive and just governance

The Emerging Market looks to act as a Community Foundation Lead to funder, convene, champion, or partner in its community to examine need and create the conditions necessary to advance the economic and social mobility of its residents while narrowing racial and ethnic inequities.

In order to meet the measurable statistics that can predict the success over time, the Emerging Market is launching the following initiatives that will guide our work and programming: (1) The 9% Initiative, (2) 1111 South Broad Street and (3) emrkt.co.

The 9% Initiative

In 2009, while working on a college readiness program for high school seniors, the founders of the Emerging Market learned that only 9% of college graduates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds returned to their former neighborhoods post-graduation.

1111 South Broad Street

Located in the downtown area of Mobile, AL, are a number of beautiful historic districts with homes that have been preserved and have withstood the test of time. Those districts, though, are bookended by neighborhoods composed of deteriorated or condemned buildings that have faltered. The City has launched an initiative of its own revitalize the surrounding areas and redevelop the surrounding buildings.

The economic disparities highlighted by those person(s) who live in historic districts and their neighbors is underscored by the state of their homes and even though the homes may be redeveloped, a stark increase in value may only serve to drive current residents out. Rather, to empower current residents and bring more economic opportunity, 1111 South Broad Street’s doors open to the community offering job training, certification testing and afterschool training.

Comparatively, college graduates from high socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to return to their former neighborhood and re-establish themselves. So, the 9% initiative aims to provide opportunities for college grads from low socioeconomic standings to return home and use the skills they’ve learned.


Emrkt.co uses acumen, affluence, grant writing and technical writing skills to research and design programs that can apply for and compete for funding opportunities on the web and bring more people to the table.

Backed by social networking tools, statistics and local stories, Emrkt.co acts as champion for other entities to acquire funding for their projects by gathering prospective applicants in a thriving ecosystem where they can share ideas, find community support and take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

Brett Williams
Author: Brett Williams


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