Meaningful Work and Wealth as a Vital Condition
Personal, family, and community wealth provides the means for healthy, secure lives. That includes good-paying, fulfilling jobs and careers, and financial security that extends across the life span. People’s lives and self-worth flourish when doing productive, rewarding work. The ability to accumulate adequate wealth shapes the living standards not only for individual families and communities, but for generations to come.
The United States is in the midst of the coronavirus crisis that has had a profound effect on the economy and individual work and wealth. No one can predict when the pandemic will end or what the economic picture will look like in the future. What is certain is that most families and communities, especially communities of color and low-income areas, have faced setbacks that could carry through for years, if not generations, to come.
There is hope, however, that new ways of working and thinking about work will spur the United States to look at different approaches to income equality and financial stability, and to make progress to combat and reverse the systemic racism that keeps whole groups of people from achieving economic equity.
This new report is a joint project of the CDC Foundation and Well Being Trust, coordinated with Community Initiatives and ReThink Health. The report acknowledges that we are now struggling and suffering through profound losses and ghastly experiences of systemic racism. Our resilience and humanity are being tested, yet we have the power to change course together. Communities across the country have an immense reservoir of energy, courage, and imagination. Our best hope for changing course is to organize local and national action around a single, unifying, measurable expectation: All people and places thriving—no exceptions. The report leverages the Vital Conditions for Well-Being framework to provide a "springboard" for communities in recovery and resilience that is imperative to this moment in time. Find the full report and the library of resources and tools coming out of collaborative work to develop Thriving Together below, and scroll on for more resources to improve meaningful work and wealth in your community.
Below is an audio excerpt from a series of interviews to collect lived experience, community voices, and critical perspectives to inform content and direction in the Springboard report and touches on meaningful work and wealth, specifically.
Opportunities to Improve Meaningful Work and Wealth
Some of the most significant opportunities are:
- Gainful employment and a livable wage
- Promoting wealth-building opportunities
- Advancing equitable prosperity
Stories for Inspiration
Explore the stories below to read interesting, engaging content about what is happening at the state, national, and local level to improve meaningful work and wealth.
Explore the data tools below to find data and related resources specifically relevant to meaningful work and wealth.
Explore the resources below that outline one or more policies that specifically seek to improve meaningful work and wealth.
Action & Dialogue Guides
Explore below to find replicable, actionable content that is easily adaptable and/or adoptable as a strategy to improve meaningful work and wealth, as well as guides and tools for in-person and virtual dialogues.
About the Vital Conditions
Meaningful Work and Wealth is one of seven “Vital Conditions” that comprise the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-being framework. This is a useful framework for conceptualizing holistic well-being and the Conditions that give rise to it, as well as identifying opportunities to shift those systems and drive transformative community change and improvement. It brings together major determinants of health, exposing how parts of a multi-faceted whole work as a system to produce equitable well-being. Learn more about the framework: