TRANSFORMATIONAL EDUCATION FOR EVERY CHILD
At CityBridge, we are guided by an unshakable belief in the equal worth of every person: Regardless of station, regardless of calling, every individual has equal value and deserves access to abundant opportunity. For us, this belief translates into service to the children of Washington, D.C., where the majority of schoolchildren face some disadvantage or adversity.
We believe schools are the best and most promising settings to address these inequities. Schools, when designed to be transformational, are engines of social mobility. They can be places where human potential is nurtured to full expression, where poverty and disadvantage are purposefully addressed. Together with many partners, our work is to advance this vision: Transformational education for every child in the nation’s capital.
It was almost a matter of kinship when our founders originally invested in Washington, D.C.’s schools—they had built businesses and raised a family here. Across many years, our engagement in D.C. has (fortuitously) benefitted from excellent local conditions, unique among peer cities, that have allowed great schools to flourish. D.C. has enjoyed a decade of steady and determined public leadership, a strong policy framework for charter and traditional schools alike, ample public funding, and a growing innovation ecosystem. And students, in turn, have demonstrated consistent academic gains. But momentum is a prized and fragile thing, and we are still a long way from serving all children well. The logic of investing here is as strong, for us, as ever. We see our job as staying the course, for as long as it takes.
Our structure allows us to be nimble, and we often position ourselves as the incubator or seed funding for new ideas. We believe philanthropy is exactly the place where the sector should take intelligent risks: With philanthropic dollars, we can pilot promising new ideas or launch innovative new schools, testing their efficacy before they are brought to scale. Our investment philosophy also allows us to act quickly when compelling opportunities present without adequate lead time for traditional sources of support.