One Mayor’s College Promise in the Heart of the Deep South


In 2018, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin campaigned on the success of children in a city that once defined racism in America. Once elected, he created Birmingham Promise, which provides students with not just reduced-cost college but success coaching and work experience -and galvanized investment from national philanthropy, local stakeholders, and higher education institutions. Making good on Birmingham’s promise is about more than college, it's about transforming an entire community. Learn how a city known for resistance to civil rights is setting an ambitious agenda for inclusive growth.

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  1. Making good on the promise of upward mobility after high school requires more than free college; must be part of a broader vision.
  2. Civic and corporate collaboration can build a talent pipeline for public students and alums.
  3. Leaders can overcome the limitations of a segregated school system to create opportunities that come with minimal barriers and plentiful support.



James Carpenter, President, Prosper

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