Child Poverty Action Lab receives $750K

By Emily Walsh

The Dallas Foundation, the first community foundation in Texas, has granted Dallas-based Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL) $750K to support CPAL’s mission of reducing childhood poverty in Dallas by 50 percent within a single generation.

One in three children grow up in poverty in Dallas.
Photo courtesy of Child Poverty Action Lab/Pablo Izquierdo

The Dallas Foundation’s grant to CPAL is the organization’s largest grant issued to date, and is strategically aligned with the Foundation’s work to ensure a Strong and Healthy Start for children, beginning with birth to age three. The grant will enable CPAL to launch a dedicated “Birth to 3 Care Team,” as well as fund their continued work to educate North Texans about the issue of poverty in the metroplex, as one in three children grow up in poverty in Dallas.  

By supporting children during their birth-to-three years, when researchers estimate one million new neuroconnections are made every second, CPAL notes there is a special window of opportunity to help children overcome the many structural barriers faced by low-income families and positively influence lifelong outcomes.

“CPAL’s work to fight child poverty and change the trajectory of our city, starting with our youngest residents, directly aligns with The Dallas Foundation’s strategic priorities and builds on our proven track record of investing in transformational solutions for children in Dallas,” said Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “The Dallas Foundation is proud to partner with CPAL on their mission, and we are excited to see the organization continue to take actionable steps towards reducing child poverty throughout Dallas.”

Across Dallas, more than 100,000 children are forced to grow up in poverty each year. To combat this, and to ensure a comprehensive and scalable approach in tackling this issue, CPAL unites a variety of Dallas’ top resources and officials across a range of issue areas that contribute to the cycle of poverty including: housing, safety, transportation, childcare, food, health, jobs and education. They also provide actionable steps these agencies can take across the city to partner on this mission. 

“CPAL is extremely thankful to The Dallas Foundation for this generous grant, and for partnering with us to lift up ‘Birth to Three Care’ as a critical strategy for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty,” said Alan Cohen, president and CEO of CPAL. 

“We know that one of the most effective ways to mitigate inequities and change the long-term odds for children that are born furthest from opportunity is to improve support for families during those children’s first three years.”

“On behalf of The Dallas Foundation Board of Governors, we are thrilled to support CPAL,” said Catherine Rose, chair of The Dallas Foundation’s Community Impact Committee. “We are confident that the work CPAL is doing throughout our city — and the work they will continue to do — is furthering our mission of making a difference in the future of Dallas.” 

For more information, visit For more information about CPAL, visit their website at