Community Navigator Work

This last month, in partnership with the Denver Foundation’s M. Julie Patiño, Barclay Jones, and LaDawn Sullivan; Joby Schaffer wrote an article featured in The Foundation Review. The article, Community Navigation as a Field of Practice: Reframing Service Delivery to Meet the Needs of Communities’ Marginalized Populations, calls out lessons learned through the Basic Human Needs Navigator…

Economic Growth

In continuation of the dialogue on the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, our July Social Innovators Breakfast focused on Colorado’s Economic Growth. We had three amazing panelists that guided the discussion and that we owe our deepest appreciation: Jake Williams: Healthier Colorado Elizabeth Garner: State Demography Office, Department of Local Affairs Lauren Ris: Colorado Water…

Housing Affordability

Our Social Innovators Breakfast Series summer focus, Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, continued in June with a panel discussion on housing affordability. We are grateful to our three panelists for representing a range of perspectives and experiences, and for sharing their expertise and lessons learned: Claire Levy, Executive Director of the Colorado Center…

Moving from Equality to Equity

In May 2018, our Social Innovators Breakfast Series launched a special summer focus: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change. Though we anticipate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will be an important component for all events in the series, we decided to kick things off with a DEI-specific topic: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of moving…

Systems and Programs: Moving from Enemies to Friends

Over the past few years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the need for “systems change” to achieve large-scale social impact. As someone deeply embedded in research and evaluation at the systems-level, I fundamentally believe that addressing complex problems requires system-level solutions. An increasing emphasis on systems – including a greater focus on multi-stakeholder…

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update

We are committed to being open and transparent throughout our process of implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Spark. We have a lot of progress to share this month and hope it will be helpful to our staff, local community, peers, clients, and the people most affected by our work. After announcing our DEI…

Keeping Youth Out of the Juvenile Justice System: Creating Policy and System Change

By Lauren Gase, Spark Policy Institute and Taylor Schooley, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Each year, roughly one million young people are arrested in the United States. Contact with the justice system is not only a public safety issue – research shows that it can lead to a range of negative health and…