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Reclaiming the American Dream


The Ohio State University is collaborating with Schmidt Futures to launch the Alliance for the American Dream — an initiative to identify ideas that will foster true social mobility, true equality of opportunity and a true middle class that is attainable and sustainable.

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Remember the middle class?


It's the backbone of the American economic structure. That illustrious place at the intersection of hard work and perseverance where families can be economically secure. Anyone who strives for it is told that they can attain it.

But across Ohio, and across our country, the middle class is fading away.

“More than 30 percent of households believe they are less than $2,000 away from falling into a financial crisis, if they were faced with a temporary job loss or a sudden medical expense.”

Ohio State Professor Elena Irwin

Not only is America the place where everyone has the freedom and opportunity to succeed — it’s also the belief in upward mobility and being able to accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

Those ideas — those beliefs and visions of the fabled American dream — are disappearing.

“We are absolutely thrilled to join the Alliance and to partner with individuals and communities on this important and timely endeavor. It’s ‘The Columbus Way’ in action.”

Dr. Michael V. Drake, Ohio State President

Through the Alliance for the American Dream, Ohio State will lead a community-wide partnership to help middle class families thrive. With $1.5 million from Schmidt Futures, we will find, develop and test the best new ways not only to strengthen the middle class, but help our families thrive.

Our goal is lofty, yet attainable: give 10,000 families a 10-percent net income boost by 2020. That means we’ll work to increase wages or make things such as housing and daycare more affordable.

But for this work to truly take off, for us to reach our goal, we’ll need your help.

Ohio State and our partners are seeking innovative ideas, and we encourage you to get involved. We need members of our communities, thought leaders, business leaders and university to join together to bring these ideas to light and life.

The American dream is still attainable, not a thing of the past. Not fleeting. And our goal is to prove it.

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