The Greater New Orleans Foundation Releases “Geography of Opportunity” Report

January 30, 2015

Data Reveals Communities of High and Low Opportunities Across the Region

New Orleans, LA (January 30, 2015) – In partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Greater New Orleans Foundation released today “The Geography of Opportunity” report that uses maps to illustrate the disparities between neighborhoods and communities in the region.

Individuals living in opportunity-rich neighborhoods have access to good schools, parks, grocery stores, jobs, health care, and transportation. Conversely, people living in low-opportunity neighborhoods are marginalized and isolated with little or no access to reliable transportation and quality education in their neighborhoods, two of the most important factors for getting out of poverty. As the report revealed, the isolation from opportunity is more pronounced in communities of color.

“These maps reveal a terrain of inequality,” said Albert Ruesga, president & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “It’s up to all of us to use this data to change the ‘what is’ to the ‘what should be’ which is simply a decent society for all.” The report measured outcomes in four domains: education, health and the environment, housing and neighborhood, and transportation and the economy.

“It’s important to frame the data in ways that help understand the story within,” said Senior Research Analyst Matt Martin of the Kirwan Institute. “It’s up to local stakeholders to use the opportunity framework to meet two goals: to bring opportunities to deprived areas and to connect people to existing opportunities throughout the region.”

The Foundation is sharing the data with local advocacy groups in housing, health, education, and transportation. It’s also available online at Funding for the report was made possible by the Ford Foundation.

For more information on the Kirwan Insitute’s Geography of Opportunity report, please email Isabel Barrios at