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Our Philosophy

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation strives to be a strategic partner working with organizations that organize low-income families and communities in order to create a fair and just society. While there is a plethora of ways to envision what a fair and just society might look like in the US, we see a fair and just America as one where low-income families and communities are thriving.  Given that a core value of ours is that those most affected by an issue(s) must also determine the solutions, we understand that the affected communities will ultimately decide what thriving means to them. Nevertheless, from our vantage we can offer some features of a thriving community that help guide our work.

A thriving community is one where:

  • Systemic and structural barriers to opportunity and well-being have been mitigated and everyone has similar access to the necessary resources for growth, regardless of their background.
  • Fundamental material conditions are secured (e.g, good jobs with work supports, quality education, quality healthcare and housing, healthy environment, etc.), and there is a robust social safety net.
  • Freedom from persecution and discrimination and healthy respect for and embracing of diversity
  • Residents are fully engaged in the civic, political and cultural lives of their communities and the nation overall.
  • Strong social and community ties exist, where people look out for each other and come together to solve problems.
  • Strong community institutions and strong, dynamic accountability between elected officials, community residents and the private sector exist.

Hill-Snowdon’s Board is deeply concerned with the growing gap between the rich and the poor, as well as the decreasing role and influence that regular people have in the daily practice of democracy in this country. We view our work through a family lens and our work is guided by the question, “What does it take to help low income families to thrive?” Fundamentally, we are interested in improving the concrete material and socio- political condition of low income families and communities such that they are thriving. We believe that the most sustainable and effective way of achieving this is for low income families and communities to build the power necessary to move them from the political, economic and social margins of this society. Thus for us, poverty, income inequality and constrained opportunity are indelibly linked to social and political marginalization. Consequently, we have chosen community organizing as our core strategy because it has proven effective at securing concrete material improvements for low income families and communities by engaging them in the public sphere and consequently, decreasing their social and political marginalization.