Spartanburg Leaders Launch “Movement 2030” to Dramatically Improve Social Mobility for Young People and Families

On behalf of thirty business, university, and nonprofit partners, the Spartanburg Academic Movement is pleased to announce the launch of Movement 2030, a groundbreaking place-based partnership to create the conditions for Spartanburg’s children and families to succeed in life, no matter where they are born and raised.

Movement 2030 has raised $100 million from local, regional, and national funders, which is expected to unlock another $120 million in public and private capital over the plan’s seven-year implementation period.

Despite benefiting from over $5 billion in capital investments by employers in the last decade, Spartanburg ranks in the bottom 10% of counties nationwide for economic mobility. Movement 2030 has been thoughtfully designed to address this challenge.

The community-led initiative, which will be implemented by partners throughout Spartanburg, features two primary tracks of work, both of which are critical drivers of upward mobility: it will increase the percentage of Spartanburg’s children who are prepared for success in school when they start kindergarten–from the current level of 49% to 65%, in line with high-achieving, similar-sized communities; and it will increase to 70% the percentage of Spartanburg’s high-school graduates who enroll in post-secondary programs, setting them on a path to long-term economic prosperity. Movement 2030 is also investing in two place-based initiatives–the Northside and Highland neighborhoods–to bring their education outcomes in line with county-wide averages.

By supporting and aligning existing, local efforts around school readiness, post-secondary attainment, and place-based programs, Movement 2030 expects to reach 60,000 people over the next seven years, including 7,000 young people.

“Movement 2030 is the culmination of decades of collaboration by diverse partners throughout Spartanburg. With its launch, we mark the beginning of a generational shift for our community,” said Dr. Russell Booker, CEO of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, which is serving as the initiative’s backbone organization. “By aligning efforts and holding ourselves accountable to clear measures of progress, not only will we improve the lives of thousands of neighbors– we will also be a beacon to the nation of a community where everyone can thrive.”

Movement 2030 is funded in part by Blue Meridian Partners’ Place Matters portfolio, which provides capital to local, backbone organizations that lead place-based partnerships, as well as national organizations, like SAM partner StriveTogether, that support the success of those partnerships. Spartanburg is one of three communities across the country receiving funding from Blue Meridian this Fall.

“Blue Meridian is proud to be investing in the innovative leadership and strong partnership behind Movement 2030 as a powerful example of how communities can come together around the power of place to improve lives,” said Cecilia Gutierrez, Managing Director and lead of Place Matters at Blue Meridian Partners. “The challenge of improving upward mobility for children and families requires long-term, systemic change, and Spartanburg’s efforts today will pay dividends for generations to come.”

Movement 2030 is also backed by regional and local funders, including but not limited to the Duke Endowment and the Mary Black Foundation. The budget for Movement 2030’s efforts was designed in concert with plan development, and funds will be deployed via selected partners, which are responsible for plan implementation. Grounded in shared accountability, Movement 2030’s progress will be measured according to carefully designed evidence-based metrics, with a focus on continuous improvement and transparent reporting to community stakeholders.

To learn more about Movement 2030, including how to access school readiness and post-secondary resources, please visit