Social Capital

Social Capital

Just as segregation cuts across all the determinants, social capital also carries tremendous power to influence outcomes in each of the areas.

A Cross-Cutting Factor

Social capital refers to networks, connections, and access to people who produce information, resources and opportunities. As it is often said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” People with ample social capital are typically paid better and promoted more often and at younger ages. They are also more likely to obtain loans, get capital for starting a business, and build successful businesses and careers. Social capital can take on a number of different forms: bonding social capital exists within families or peer groups; linking social capital connects people to information and resources beyond their immediate circle; and bridging social capital refers to social networks between groups representing diverse interests. Each is equally important.

Social capital was the one intangible factor that children and youth identified during our community sessions as most important to them. While it is difficult to quantify and measure, increasing social capital and access to life navigators could be one of the most impactful strategies and should be interwoven into all of the other determinants.

Task Force Strategy to Address Social Capital

  • Strategy U/21

    Ensure all children, youth and families have relationships in the community that connect them to opportunities, information, and resources; broaden their horizons about what’s possible in their lives; assist in navigating through unexpected crises to stay on track; offer tangible pathways toward achieving their aspirations; and demonstrate to every child, youth, and family that their contribution is vital to the success of our community.

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Agents of Change

Leading on Opportunity works alongside community to build social capital.

Don Thomas

Community Impact Director

Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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Latest information about
Social Capital.

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Meeting Presents Opportunity to Galvanize Community for Lakeview

WSOC • Kevin Campbell - August 28, 2019

“We need to lift up potential bright spots in neighborhoods like Lakeview,” Cooper-Lewter said. “If things are going to change, we have to have conversations and work.”

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Community Conversation: The American Dream vs. Charlotte Reality

WBTV • Dedrick Russell - July 26, 2019

Featuring Leading on Opportunity Executive Director Stephanie Cooper-Lewter, Leading on Opportunity Council Member and County Manager Dena Diorio, and community organizations like Crisis Assistance Ministries, Central Piedmont Community College, the Urban League of Central Carolinas, Meck Pre-K, and Workforce Investment Network.

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The Economist Who Would Fix the American Dream

The Atlantic • Gareth Cook - July 17, 2019

"No one has done more to dispel the myth of social mobility than Raj Chetty. But he has a plan to make equality of opportunity a reality ... In Charlotte ... Opportunity Insights is planning housing and higher-education initiatives, but social capital is at the center of its approach. It is working with a local organization called Leading on Opportunity, and looking at nonprofits that are already operating successfully, including Communities in Schools, a national group that provides comprehensive student support, as well as a job-training program called Year Up."

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We invite you to join our movement to increase pathways to opportunity and upward mobility for all children, youth and families.

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Join Our Community Impact Alliance Convening & Opportunity Café

March 04, 2019

Join Our Community Impact Alliance Convening & Opportunity Café

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Let's Talk About Race: Race and Poverty Workshop

September 22, 2019

Let's Talk About Race: Race and Poverty Workshop

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Featured Event Leading on Opportunity Invites You: On the Table Community Partners and Hosts Training Session 4

September 25, 2019

Leading on Opportunity Invites You: On the Table Community Partners and Hosts Training Session 4

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