Omolara is an Adrian Cheng Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Innovation + Change Initiative and a Doctoral Candidate in Education Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge MA, USA Founded in 2020.
Omolara designed the THRIVE! equity algorithm based on her experiences as an impact evaluator, a cabinet level official in DC’s juvenile justice agency, and as a foundation executive. The podcast, THRIVE! The algorithm designed to root out racism, gives a compelling summary of her work and family background. THRIVE! was featured in Boston Globe Business and is a winner of the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenge and the HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity. THRIVE! is an honoree of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.
What is the Problem?
In the USA, 84 percent of children born in poverty - who are disproportionately people of color - will live in poverty for the rest of their lives, and are subject to higher rates of premature death.
What is the Solution?
Thrive! disrupts the approach that governments take to evaluate the racial and gender justice of their public spending. The company has developed a Software as a Service (SaaS) system that enables governments to do equity audits and develop equity-centered budgets. Their Equity Audit software tracks 80+ measures across typical government agencies like public schools, parks and recreation, health and human services, child welfare and police to answer two simple questions: Is money moving toward interventions that have been empirically proven to break cycles of poverty in communities of color? and Are we authentically sharing power with residents and elevating the voices of Black and Brown people in local decision-making?
Using the Equity Audit scores and recommendations, THRIVE! facilitates a process where people of color in the community work with government officials to vet the measures, review initial findings, and then co-create final solutions.
The company’s approach is based on the fact that the smart deployment of money can create new opportunities for all. It is necessary to push governments to help their people secure more social mobility with pathways out of poverty. The THRIVE! SaaS research-based platform promotes more equitable spending and helps people get out of poverty.