The Atlantic’s recent article, The New Old Age, marks a milestone for CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org), an indication of the uptake of ideas and language we’d been working to develop, implement and disseminate for more than a decade. Written by David Brooks,...
The Latest from CoGenerate
A new documentary film, Ink & Linda, chronicles the unexpected friendship between Inksap, a Vietnamese-American street artist in his 20s, and Linda, a white modern dance teacher in her 70s. Shortly after a chance encounter brings these two together, they begin...
We’re out to show the world that older and younger people can help solve pressing problems when they work together. To that end, today we’re launching the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity, a partnership with the Ares Charitable Foundation to elevate...
J. McDonald Williams
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
Mobilizing people, data, ideas and resources to help low-income communities better themselves
In 1995, J. McDonald Williams, then chair of a Texas-based real estate firm, founded the Foundation for Community Empowerment to help revitalize low-income neighborhoods in Dallas. Partnering with community and faith-based organizations and the public sector, the Foundation focuses on the primarily African American South Dallas/Fair Park neighborhoods. Improvements have been notable: a ten-fold increase in the number of affordable housing permits and in nonprofit homebuilding; a nearly 700 percent increase in the number of low-income three- and four-year-olds in language-rich preschool programs; and higher voter participation. The Foundation is also leading an initiative for the transformation of the Dallas public school system. A $200 million comprehensive revitalization has been launched in the Frazier neighborhood of Dallas, and plans are underway to replicate the Foundation’s model in other neighborhoods, including predominantly Hispanic communities. Now 64, Williams’s goal is to create a successful model of redevelopment that can be replicated throughout Southern Dallas and beyond.