“Structural racism has always been a pre-existing condition for communities of color.” -Race Forward
People in disinvested communities, often communities of color, understand this statement too well. It has rung true for generations. Structural racism affects more than just health; systemic discrimination has negatively impacted every aspect of life for communities of color, from accessing quality health care and education to qualifying for housing to procuring healthy food within their neighborhood.
By Ellis Carr, President & CEO, and Daniel Varner, Board Chair
Over the past several weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world for all of us. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been—and will continue to be—affected by this devastating event.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to those who are serving on the front lines during this crisis: doctors, nurses and other health care workers, pharmacists and grocery store employees, restaurant owners and delivery crews and everyone who has sewn masks and donated food and supplies to those in need. We are truly indebted to them for their sacrifice and hard work.
“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solutions.” Bryan Stevenson
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were first certified by the U.S. Treasury 25 years ago to provide financing in communities left behind by the mainstream financial system. CDFIs have long been “first responders” to many small and growing businesses in communities throughout America and are very much on the front lines of the economic response to coronavirus (COVID-19). There are more than 1,000 CDFIs at work in all 50 states managing $185 billion in loans and investments to historically underserved small businesses, nonprofits, affordable housing projects, unbanked consumers building credit, and farms and grocery stores which provide healthy food.
American small businesses and nonprofits are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Paycheck Protection Program is open again to small businesses across the country, including nonprofits. This time, lenders proximate to communities have the opportunity to lend to businesses and organizations that need the funding before it opens up to others.
In addition, a number of programs are being offered by state governments and local municipalities to assist businesses and nonprofits with whatever needs they have right now. This page will be updated continually through this economic crisis to provide you with links to programs and resources you can investigate as a way to support your operations.
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” -President Lyndon B. Johnson when he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965
For communities nationwide, 2020 will be a big year, a year in which the chance at future prosperity will be determined for many. Social justice depends on a web of rights being heeded and respected by all to work in favor of the populace. From the 2020 elections to the census to the Community Reinvestment Act revisions, many events are taking place this year that will shape disinvested communities, particularly communities of color, for years to come.
The civil rights movement sought to end legalized racial discrimination against Black-American individuals and communities. For generations, Black Americans were systematically denied opportunities that their White counterparts experienced, from the ability to buy homes to accessing quality education to equal treatment by the criminal justice system.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy is one of challenging the systems that keep people from benefitting from the democracy that this country is supposed to provide to all of its citizens. The people for whom he fought were often people of color, people with low-to-moderate incomes, people whose struggle for basic social services and equity was historically negated by their own government and fellow citizens. More than 50 years ago, King stated “Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.” His was the chorus of “Yes, we can” that has brought so many together to change the status quo and shape that future that we want to see.
By Jason Anderson, Senior Director, Communications
As 2018 came to a close and many of us were focused on the holiday season, a headline came across the news wires that stopped us in our tracks.
It had been reported that a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed a remote part of the U.S.-Mexico border with her father had died two days after been taken into custody by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.
Her name was Jakelin Caal.
Given the tragic event, many thought that law enforcement officials would learn from that situation and put the necessary procedures in place to prevent that kind of incident from happening again.