• Rural Challenges, Real Solutions

    The ongoing paucity of public and private investment in the rural South has caused outsized harm to African-American women and girls. In a study published this week titled “ Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South ,” the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI) found “on nearly every social indicator of well-being — from income and earnings to obesity and...

    Shirley Sherrod
  • Faces and Places: The Evolving American South

    Race and ethnicity seem to dominate America’s headlines these days. A federal judge is hearing arguments in the NAACP’s challenge to North Carolina’s voting law. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds after the racially motivated murders of nine black churchgoers. New York City reached a $5.9 million settlement with the family of a black man killed by a white...

    Ivan Parra
  • Remembering Sandy Rosenblith

    Rural America lost one of its most tenacious champions with the death of Sandy Rosenblith last month. She was one of the most effective, difficult people I have ever known.

    She understood how important place-based change is to low-wealth communities, and that strong, resident-led organizations are key to creating jobs, housing, financial services and the other things people...

    Sandy Rosenblith
  • Ines Polonius: Entrepreneurship in Arkansas

    Ines Polonius spearheaded the merger of Community Resource Group and alt.Consulting to form Communities Unlimited, which offers infrastructure services and economic entrepreneurial growth strategies in seven states.

    As Executive Director of alt.Consulting, Polonius worked with hundreds of small businesses in manufacturing, distribution, service and retail. Among the services Polonius...

  • 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