Striving Together Book Unveiled at SUNY Conference on Collective Impact

October 30, 2014

Chancellor Zimpher, StriveTogether Managing Director Jeff Edmondson Release Co-Authored Book on the History, Lessons, and Transformative Effects of StriveTogether, Collective Impact


New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and StriveTogether Managing Director Jeff Edmondson today released Striving Together, one of the first-ever collective impact books, chronicling some of the nation’s first successful cross-sector partnerships to improve student outcomes.

The book was made available to the public for the first time at SUNY’s fourth annual Critical Issues in Higher Education Conference, where successful models of collective impact are being explored by national thought leaders. The book will be available for purchase online tomorrow.

Striving Together explores the history, lessons, and transformative effects of collective impact and the beginnings of StriveTogether, a national collaborative that serve as a support system and connection for communities across the country that are implementing the framework in an effort to improve student success from cradle to career. Since the events outlined in the book, the StriveTogether network has grown to include 53 partnerships in 28 states and Washington, D.C.

“It is our hope that the lessons learned during the initial stages of our work to improve education outcomes in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky can serve as a useful guide for communities implementing the StriveTogether framework worldwide,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Collective impact takes tremendous discipline and patience, but the rewards are manifold as community partnerships move the dials on student achievement and children are given every advantage and support they need to succeed from cradle to career.”

Striving Together tells the story of how a diverse group of community leaders across sectors came together to institute a transformative approach to improving education as a system. This gathering of leaders was the genesis of the StrivePartnership, which served as the inspiration for the theory of collective impact. Together, these partners are building a cradle-to-career civic infrastructure based on the idea that everyone in a community has a stake in the success of every child.

“Our stories – and the experiences of others in Portland, Richmond, Seattle, and Houston – are chronicled in Striving Together so that no community ever has to start from scratch again,” said Edmondson. “The StriveTogether framework helps community partnerships renew their civic infrastructure and create a better future for kids in and out of school, and this book is the story of how it all started. We were fortunate to work with a formidable group of leaders who were deeply committed to a common vision for improved student outcomes.”

The book chronicles the early stages of this ongoing journey from the perspective of the founding chair and director of this work. In 2006, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky had been suffering from many of the same challenges facing metro regions across the country: Kindergarten readiness was below fifty percent, and nearly half of the students in the Cincinnati Public Schools were dropping out before high school graduation. The authors draw upon lessons from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and four other pioneering partnerships, including Portland, Seattle, Richmond, and Houston. The experiences captured in these five regions helped lay the foundation for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national community of practice on the cutting edge of social change.

About StriveTogether
StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, works with communities nationwide to help them create a civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results and college retention. For more information, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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