Family Independence Initiative (FII) is a national nonprofit which leverages the power of information to illuminate and accelerate the initiative low-income families take to improve their lives. Using hard data and compelling stories, we are sparking a movement to transform the stereotypes, beliefs, practices, and policies that undermine families’ efforts to get ahead.

FII believes that our country is greatly underestimating the ability of low-income families to lead their own change. FII has tracked the progress of hundreds of families over the last decade and found that the lack of upward mobility is not the result of a lack of initiative but can be traced to two other factors:

1. Lack of information, and therefore lack of investment, in the initiatives low-income families take on their own or collectively. In order to access services and programs, families have to show neediness instead of initiative(bolstering already prevalent negative stereotyping).

2. Negative stereotypes and the focus on individualism have led to government and charitable practices that discourage families from turning to one another and developing the mutuality that historically built America’s middle class.