The Declaration Initiative

Our Project

The Declaration Initiative (TDI) is a movement that inspires members of American communities to invest together in assuring access to the promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL by July 4th, 2026, the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

A UW-Madison-based, multidisciplinary team of experts, including 4W Scholars, worked with TDI to research and produce actionable findings on 5 factors disproportionately trapping the lowest 10th percentile of Americans in poverty:

• Maternal illness and death

• Infant mortality

• Deficient language proficiency by age 3 and deficient reading by age 9

• Failure to graduate from high school

• Early, repeated, and prolonged incarceration

The report summarized the evidence for the burden of each factor, as well as promising interventions and policy solutions. It is a brief and effective representative of “what we know, and what we don’t know.”

Citation: Grande KM, Kahle ER, Thompson-Fleming R, Shrestha S, Carpenter E, Tran-Inzeo P., Brown, LD. (2016). The promise of national service to improve the quality of life in the United States: A summary of the evidence. University of Wisconsin-Madison: The Declaration Initiative.

Subsequent phases of this project will look at solutions to policy and systems barriers to implementation of evidence-based or promising practices and the need for adequate data to measure impact.

4W will continue to use the findings of this report to inform our work.

Additional information can be found at The Declaration Initiative website. You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.