Stories

Economic Development

  • Preserving the Social Fabric: Southern CDFIs

    A new survey is shining a harsh spotlight on the urgent need for non-predatory financial services in the South. A recent Gallup poll found minority-owned businesses face tougher challenges obtaining loans. The study, commissioned by Wells Fargo, found that 77 percent of black business owners use their own personal cash to finance their businesses, and 47 percent of black-owned businesses are...

    Ines Polonius
  • Race, Community Engagement and an Integrated Dance

    HBO debuted a documentary this month that set out to tell the story of a Georgia high school’s first integrated prom but uncovered a hornet’s nest of racial conflict. “ Southern Rites ” focused on Montgomery County as students merged their “white prom” and “black prom,” sparking bitter backlash from many residents who didn’t take kindly to the disruption of the status quo. A New York Times...

    Daa'iyah Salaam
  • Ivan Parra: Immigration Reform

    An experienced community organizer and trainer, Ivan Kohar Parra cofounded three organizations that engage hundreds of grassroots leaders in social change. He is Executive Director of the Latino Credit Union, a member-owned non-profit financial institution offering a full package of ethical, bilingual financial services, affordable credit options and financial education to thousands of...

  • Ashley Shelton: Building Power

    Ashley Shelton launched the Louisiana office of One Voice, an organization created in response to housing, education, civil rights, and policy advocacy needs in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One Voice fosters public engagement, provides access to data for policy analysis and builds alliances with partners and supporters committed to building a strong, informed electorate.

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  • Daa'iyah Salaam: SWGP Programs

    For five years, Daa’iyah Salaam served as Business Development Specialist for the Southwest Georgia Project, an organization founded in 1961 to educate, engage and empower through advocacy and community organizing. The organization has successfully addressed school segregation, welfare rights, voter rights and education, housing, land loss, economic development and unfair policies affecting...