The Asset Funders Network engages philanthropy to advance economic opportunity and prosperity for low and moderate income people.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
I am still processing the positive, provocative value provided by the many participants and speakers at AFN’s sold-out biennial conference earlier this month in San Antonio. The AFN sponsors, funders of San Antonio, and the staff at the St. Anthony Hotel were terrific hosts—our thanks go to them. READ MORE
JPMorgan Chase Commits $125M to Underserved Communities
"Helping more communities access the tools they need to manage their financial lives and meet their goals is a critical component of ensuring that more people benefit from economic growth."
- Colleen Briggs, JPMorgan Chase's Head of Community Innovation
JPMorgan Chase announced a $125 million commitment over the next five years to community groups focused on fintech and financial coaching for underserved communities nationwide. This initiative will identify, evaluate and help expand fintech solutions, and financial coaching programs to help people increase their savings, build credit, reduce debt, and achieve their financial goals.
Prudential, Rockefeller Foundation Announce Opportunity Zone Initiative
The Rockefeller Foundation announced an initiative that will commit $5.5 million to help six U.S. cities promote responsible investment in areas designated as opportunity zones created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This effort will help ensure new investment delivers sustainable benefits for more than 30 million low-income Americans living in Opportunity Zones. Prudential Financial Inc. is contributing to the first award, which will provide $920,000 to Newark, New Jersey. The other five cities will be announced over the next few months. READ MORE
AFN UPCOMING CONNECT & LEARN EVENTS
June 24, 2019
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (PT)
Empowerment Economics: Building Power and Wealth with Immigrants and Refugees for a Thriving Puget Sound Region; Stay tuned for more details; POC: Annette Case
Great Lakes Midwest Region
Just Released: Report on Assets for Equity: Building Wealth for Women in Central Ohio
The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio released a new report, Assets for Equity: Building Wealth for Women in Central Ohio, that explores the gender and racial wealth gaps in Central Ohio focusing on assets and debts, perceptions of economic security, and accelerators and barriers to building wealth.
In Case You Missed it: Learning Roundtable on The Power Behind Inclusive Growth
Last month, Indiana AFN, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, held a learning roundtable, The Power Behind Inclusive Growth, to discuss how inclusive growth efforts can be informed by asset building strategies. VIEW the event slides
Chicago Foundation of Women Announces New President and CEO
Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has named Felicia Davis, a native of Chicago South Side, former Chicago police office and head of the mayor's Office of Public Engagement, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Felicia Davis, replaces K. Sujata, who stepped down in March after eight years in the role. Felicia is a founder of the South Side Giving Circle and serve on the Advisory Board for the Willie's Warriors Leadership Initiative at CFW, and brings a wealth of knowledge and deep commitment to community and public service. READ MORE
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation’s Story Slam for Equity
Last month, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) hosted an event, Story Slam for Equity, that embarked on its new direction of Arkansas Equity 2025. With WRF’s new mission it will engage all Arkansans in the pursuit of equity for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Watch the video on WRF’s new mission
Baby Steps Toward Guaranteed Incomes in Mississippi
New York Times' opinion piece, Baby Steps Toward Guaranteed Incomes and Racial Justice, outlines a pilot project in Mississippi called Magnolia Mother’s Trust administered by Springboard to Opportunities. Under this initiative, guaranteed incomes of $1,000 a month will be disbursed to 20 single, Black poverty-stricken mothers who make an average of $11,030 annually. Families will be free to use this money in whatever way they see fit to best meet their financial needs. READ MORE
New Research Describes Texas Gender Wage Gap
Texas Women Foundation’s new study highlights how women in Dallas and surrounding counties lag in salary compared to their male counterparts. Women who are full-time, year-round employees make about 71% of the salaries of men in Collin County, 75% in Denton County, and 95% in Dallas County. READ MORE
DOWNLOAD the full report
To learn more about how the gender wealth gap impacts women, check out AFN’s Women & Wealth, On Shaky Ground, and Clipped Wings
STUDENT DEBT AT HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES
Student Debt Hits Hardest at Historically Black Colleges
Traditionally, historically black colleges and institutions (HBCUs) provided Black Americans to economic security. The Wall Street Journal reported that Black students at the HBCUs are leaving with disproportionately high loans compared with their peers at other schools, and are less likely to repay their loans. READ MORE
Morehouse Commencement Speaker Pledges To Pay Off Student Debt
During the 2019 commencement address at Morehouse College, graduation speaker, self-made billionaire Robert Smith, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vista Equity Partners LLC, announced that he would be paying the student debt for the entire class. The generous gift is estimated to be worth $40 million with nearly 400 students in the Morehouse College Class of 2019 will not have to scramble to pay back tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. READ MORE
CONNECTING THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED BACK INTO COMMUNITY
‘I Don’t Want to See Him Fail:’ A Firm Takes a Chance on Ex-Inmates
Progressive Coating of Chicago, struggling to find good employees in a tight labor market, is turning to people with criminal records. Keeping them on the job sometimes presents heart-rending dilemmas. The boss asks, how many chances are too many? READ MORE
To learn how philanthropy plays a role, DOWNLOAD AFN’s brief, Prison to Proprietor that examines how connecting formerly incarcerated individuals who are returning to the community to entrepreneurship that can provide a second chance at opportunity.
The New York Times Opinion: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
The United States tolerates a widening chasm between the very rich few and the many with low incomes. Even more shameful, the burden of poverty falls heaviest on African-Americans and other people. READ MORE
Racial Wealth Gap Can Not Be Closed Without Speaking of Race
“Ultimately, assets give people agency in their lives.” Darrick Hamilton, director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University
The racial wealth gap shows no signs of closing. There's growing momentum on the left to address the racial wealth gap. But the prospects for race-based policies before the Supreme Court are not promising. READ MORE
Anne Price Explains Why the Racial Wealth Gap Still Exists
This month, Anne Price, President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (ICCED) and co-author of AFN's brief Clipped Wings, joined Ali Velshi on MSNBC, as she shared her insights about how to address the historical structural causes of the racial wealth gap. Watch the MSNBC interview
OUTLOOK FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITIES
In Case You Missed It: Rural Development Hubs: Action Infrastructure for Rural Prosperity
In early May, Aspen Institute hosted, Rural Development Hubs: Action Infrastructure for Rural Prosperity, to hear from four leaders, all members of the Rural Development Innovation Group, as they discussed policy levers to support Rural Development communities and preview some of the top line findings from the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group’s interviews with more than 40 of these field-leading organizations building better rural outcomes across America. Stay tuned for the full report this summer 2019.
To hear the recorded video, CLICK HERE; DOWNLOAD the Rural Development brief; CLICK HERE to offer your comments on the brief.
OPPORTUNITY ZONES DRIVE INVESTMENTS
New Initiative: Building Healthy Places Network
Build Healthy Places Network highlights resources, news, and articles from across sectors related to Opportunity Zones, a new community and economic development tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, that helps to drive long-term investments in low income throughout the United States. READ MORE
Join AFN June 12th at noon ET (11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT) for a presentation on Opportunity Zones, Why they Matter to Your Foundation and How You Can Take Action.
SNAPSHOT OF MILLENNIALS ECONOMIC TRENDS
Why Millennials are Approaching Middle Age in Crisis
The Wall Street Journal reports that new data show millennials in worse financial shape than every preceding living generation, and may never recover. Their woes have delayed traditional adult milestones in ways expected to alter the nation’s demographic and economic contours. READ MORE
Check out AFN's brief Clipped Wings, Closing the Wealth Gap for Millennial Women
REQUEST FOR COMMENT ON NATIONAL POVERTY LEVEL
Your Input is Needed: Trump Administration Considers Poverty Level Changes
The Trump Administration is considering a rule change with changing the poverty measure annually using a different inflation measure that would affect government programs including food stamps, Medicaid, and Head Start. With the possible change, many individuals could see their benefits either reduced or eliminated because they would not be considered as poor as they were under the old measure.
The administration is accepting comments on the poverty calculation until June 21, 2019.
CAREER OPPORTUNITY IN PHILANTHROPY
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law is Hiring
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (Shriver Center) is looking for an experienced and innovative leader to serve as its next President and Chief Executive Officer (President). The ideal candidate will bring knowledge of the current issues that impact low-income populations and communities of color through policy expertise and through lived experiences; the capacity to build, direct, and motivate a team of experts in a highly collaborative environment; strong strategic skills that identify priorities and integrate resources toward achieving these objectives; and exceptional translation skills that connect evidence-based knowledge and policy with effective advocacy and leadership development. READ MORE & APPLY
ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE FIELD
JPMorgan Chase Announces Winners of AdvancingCities Challenge
JPMorgan Chase announced grants totaling $15 million to the winners of the AdvancingCities Challenge, an annual competition to source innovative and sustainable solutions to problems facing communities in U.S. cities. The Challenge is part of a greater five-year, $500 million initiative to create greater economic opportunity and inclusive growth in cities worldwide. READ MORE on the winning cities
The Center for Financial Services Innovation is now the Financial Health Network
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), a leading authority on financial health, has a new name —the Financial Health Network — and will provide consulting services and offer tools to help others measure, manage, and improve financial health for all. READ MORE
National Employment Law Project Year-end Leadership Transition
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) board of directors announced after nearly 12 years of extremely successful leadership, Chris Owens will be stepping down from her role as NELP’s executive director later this year. NELP will post details of the executive director search process on its website at www.nelp.org as it becomes available. Crystal Stephens, the Boardwalk Consulting senior director will lead the search, is available at Crystal@BoardwalkConsulting.com.
Chris’s strong, steady, and inspirational leadership played a guiding role in transforming NELP into the distinguished national workers’ rights and economic justice organization it is today. Under Chris’s leadership, NELP has more than doubled in size and tripled its budget. READ MORE
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Policy Summit 2019: Connecting People and Places to Opportunity
June 19 - 21, 2019 | Cincinnati, OH
The Summit will offer the latest research on and best practices for promoting the economic mobility and resilience of low and moderate income people and communities. READ MORE and REGISTER NOW
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