Multipliers of Prosperity: Social Platforms, Social Change
Every month, Donna Bowen of Mattapan, Massachusetts, communicates with around 45 complete strangers. Some are looking for advice on saving or credit-building, while others want to compare notes on issues like housing or education. They come from all places: not just nearby Boston, but Detroit, Albuquerque and Oakland. Each has a personal goal in mind—like purchasing a home, getting out of debt or starting their own business—and whatever the case, wherever they are, Bowen is there to lend an open ear and a voice of experience.
But Bowen’s not a professional financial coach or expert. And she’s not a community organizer either. She’s a user of a platform called UpTogether, an online network connecting members of low- and moderate-income communities across the country. Developed by the Family Independence Initiative, an Oakland-based nonprofit, UpTogether operates on the premise that low-income individuals are their own best advocates.