Since COVID-19 began, times have been incredibly trying for many across the country. Schools and teachers have been particularly hard-hit, having to figure out what education looks like in this new reality. It has been grueling, the hours have been long, and all of this has taken place as teachers and school staff fear for the health and safety of their students, loved ones, and themselves.
This post was written by OFN Blog guest authors and OFN members BlueHub Capital, Capital Impact Partners, IFF, Nonprofit Finance Fund, LISC, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Reinvestment Fund, and Self-Help
In recent years, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and similar mission-oriented financial services organizations have begun to elevate the importance of explicitly addressing racial equity in lending, investing, and operational practices. While this goal remains urgent, it is also a challenge to determine precisely how to incorporate or operationalize racial equity into our varied work. How do CDFIs incorporate an explicit racial equity perspective into their lending? What work do we need to do as institutions and individuals to genuinely build that racial equity perspective? And how might we collaborate across our industry to successfully achieve that goal?
By Emilie Linick, Senior Loan Officer
Equitable access to education provides all children with the chance to live up to their full potential and lead choice-filled lives. With racial and socio-economic inequity growing across the nation, high-quality education is crucial to giving students from low-income communities the opportunity to achieve the same life successes as their more affluent peers.
As a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Capital Impact Partners aims to create communities of opportunity, and education is one cornerstone of that mission. For more than 20 years, we have partnered with and financed charter schools to extend high-quality education to the children who need it most.
By Emilie Linick, Senior Loan Officer, and Quanic Fullard, Impact Strategy Specialist
Capital Impact Partners has long been driven by a mission to help people build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success. To that end, we continually look to expand our lending and incubate, scale, and advocate for new ideas that advance community development for those most in need.
By Abigail Suarez, Business Development Officer
A child’s access to education is the stepping stone to a lifetime of successes. Limited or inadequate access can put a child on a path toward a lifetime of struggle. In some communities, access to stellar facilities and a first-rate education is a given. In other communities, it’s a daily struggle against many factors: poverty, crumbling buildings, crime, and lack of resources among them. A community can want its children to have access to a first class education, but without the financial means to build and maintain schools, many places struggle to provide even adequate school facilities.