Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize for Alliance for Opportunity to Help Reduce Poverty, Empower Low-Income Americans

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Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize for Alliance for Opportunity to Help Reduce Poverty, Empower Low-Income Americans

Nov 14, 2022 4 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced Monday that it has selected the Alliance for Opportunity as a recipient of the Heritage Innovation Prize. The alliance of three public policy groups will receive a $225,000 award over two years in support of the organizations’ efforts to lift Americans out of poverty and promote human flourishing. 

The Alliance for Opportunity is a unique, highly coordinated, multi-state effort to advance a free enterprise-oriented, anti-poverty policy agenda. Composed of groups from Texas (Texas Public Policy Foundation), Georgia (Georgia Center for Opportunity), and Louisiana (Pelican Institute for Public Policy). The group’s focus is to promote solutions and build the political will to advance a comprehensive and compelling plan for reform to move people from dependence to the dignity of work and human flourishing. In the next 10 years, Alliance for Opportunity is aiming to reduce the number of people in poverty by 20% in each state. A total of 1,170,600 people will be freed from poverty. Broken down by state, that would mean 276,600 Georgians, 173,800 Louisianians, and 720,200 Texans out of poverty. 

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, released a statement upon announcement of the award:  

“However well-intentioned some aspects of the so-called War on Poverty may have been, we’ve created nearly three generations of Americans who are dependent on government and, sadly, in Joe Biden’s America, the American dream is growing increasingly out of reach for many. Still, there is no better place in the world to find opportunity and rise above challenging circumstances than the United States of America. Our country is built on the backs of those who overcame obstacles and defied the odds against them to forge their own path to success.   

 

“We have a responsibility to our fellow Americans to help them achieve their full potential as men and women made in the image of God—to find dignity in meaningful employment and satisfaction in the work of their hands. I am proud of what the Alliance for Opportunity is doing to empower hundreds of thousands of Americans to overcome poverty and provide for themselves and their families in abundance.”   

Greg Sindelar, CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, released a statement upon the announcement:  

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken—that’s the wisdom of Ecclesiastes that we put into practice with the Alliance for Opportunity. By bringing TPPF alongside Louisiana’s Pelican Institute and the Georgia Center for Opportunity, we multiply our reach and effectiveness and show that the United States of America is more than just what happens in Washington D.C. And now, as the recession threatens to worsen and prices continue to skyrocket, Americans will need the innovative ideas—translated into policy—that will help them to weather the current economic, political and cultural storms. We are honored to receive this award from the Heritage Foundation.” 

Randy Hicks, president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Opportunity, released a statement upon receiving the award:  

“The Alliance for Opportunity is honored to receive Heritage’s Innovation Prize. As a part of the Alliance, we at the Georgia Center for Opportunity are charting a path that will lead a million of our neighbors out of poverty in the next decade by addressing the failed policies that are trapping individuals in poverty and government dependence. Our focused solutions are about removing barriers and bridging divides to bring opportunity to all. There is a special power when neighbors put aside their differences and come together in a shared goal of creating opportunity for those who are struggling in our midst. This type of genuine change can only happen locally, where our lives are actually lived. Ultimately, the most important things that happen in our lives happen in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities." 

Daniel Erspamer, chief executive officer of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, also released a statement:  

“We are grateful and honored to win the Heritage Innovation Prize. Real change begins with finding creative solutions to the problems our nation faces, and poverty alleviation is an area we can no longer frivolously throw money at. What we’re doing at the Alliance for Opportunity is going to challenge the stifling, bureaucratic status quo, so we can provide real solutions to poverty. Our people need more. With this award, we will continue to work on reforming the social safety system. This will enable people to go from poverty to self-sufficiency—through the dignity of work.”

The Heritage Innovation Prize recognizes and provides substantive financial awards totaling up to $1 million annually to results-oriented nonprofits for projects involving research, litigation, education, outreach, or communications, particularly those focused on empowering parents in education, holding Big Tech accountable, countering the threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), securing America’s borders and reducing crime, ensuring free and fair elections, reducing the growth of spending and inflation, and promoting life and family formation.  

The winners of the first-ever Heritage Innovation Prize earlier this year were Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), and the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF). Each organization received $100,000, sponsored by The Heritage Foundation’s robust endowment fund for innovative conservative projects.  

For more information about the inaugural awards of the Innovation Prize, read here. For more information about the prize itself, read here

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