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UW partnerships take 1st, 2nd in Alliance for the American Dream competition

June 28, 2019 By Meredith McGlone

Two UW–community partnerships earned honors and additional provisional funding Thursday from the Alliance for the American Dream, a national competition for innovative ideas to move more families into the middle class.

Logo reading 2019 DreamUp Wisconsin Challenge with a silhouette of the state of Wisconsin

LIFT Dane shared first place for its plan to help Dane County families who are weighed down by fixable civil legal problems such as suspended driver’s licenses, consumer debt, child support arrears, and criminal records that prevent them from advancing in the workforce, securing housing and stabilizing their families. It is a partnership between Legal Action of Wisconsin, the UW Law School and Employment and Training Association (EATA) of Dane County.

We Care for Dane Kids shared second place with its multi-pronged approach to transform the county’s early childhood and after school care sectors by supplementing income for workers and child care costs, reducing operating expenses for facilities and creating a child care benefit program. The partnership consists of the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, Reach Dane, Satellite Family Child Care Systems, the UW schools of Social Work and Education, the city of Madison, Madison Out-of-School Time and TASC.

The Alliance, known locally as DreamUp Wisconsin, is sponsored by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on people who will make our world better — helping people to achieve more for others by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully and by working together across fields.

“In the final round of the 2019 Alliance for the American Dream competition, Schmidt Futures prepared to invest $1 million in an innovative idea to increase the size of the middle class — by creating the conditions that allow poor people to move out of poverty and into the middle class, and by preventing people in the middle class from falling into poverty,” Schmidt Futures said in announcing the winners. “The final-round ideas were so powerful that we have decided instead to invest a total of $3 million across efforts in Arizona, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.”

DreamUp Wisconsin is currently seeking proposals for the second round of the competition.