Just because one isn’t born into privilege, doesn’t mean one shouldn’t have access to some of the fundamental things that make for a better quality of life, says Laurie M. Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
The mission of her fund? Access and opportunity for New Yorkers. Watch Tisch discuss how her organization is providing opportunities for kids across New York City:
“I grew up with a tremendous amount of privilege, as did my children,” Tisch says. “But I fundamentally believe that where you’re born and how you’re born shouldn’t – it does effect – but shouldn’t be the determination of if you can enjoy arts education, if you get good health care, if you get access to healthy food.”
Tisch asks: “If I have access to it because I was fortunate enough to be born into a family where there was access, why can’t other people have it?”
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that strives to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers. The Fund plays an engaged and active role in supporting organizations and leaders who have a positive impact and lasting effect on well-being and community life. The fund consistently champions innovative approaches to education, the arts, healthy food and service in order to illuminate strategies that transform our urban landscape.
For example, after she launched her fund four years ago, Tisch was called on by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help bring healthy food into city areas known as “food deserts,” areas that otherwise would have little access to such foods. The program, called the New York City Green Cart Initiative, now has more than 500 food carts carrying healthy food throughout New York City and has created more than 800 jobs.
“About ninety-five percent of these vendors are first-generation immigrations,” Tisch said. “We went into this program to create access to healthy food … but ended up working in the jobs-creation program, as well.”
genConnect was credentialed press at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we interviewed the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.
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