Racial Equity
Breakout Sessions

Racial Equity Sponsor

Advancing Prosperity and Economic Justice in Persistent Poverty Areas

A closer look at persistent poverty in America reveals how structural exclusion by place and race continues to paint a picture that is steadfastly rural and marred by racial inequity. These challenges are exacerbated by a history of disinvestment. However, organizations that are part of Partners for Rural Transformation have long track records of rising to such challenges−CDFIs we are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of local people and places. We are place-based organizations working hand-in-hand with people and organizations across our respective regions to build inclusive wealth, increase local capacity and create opportunities for better livelihoods, health, and well-being.

Bill Bynum, CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation
Chrystel Cornelius, CEO, First Nations Oweesta Corporation
Jim King, President and CEO, Fahe
Jose Quinonez, Director, Partners for Rural Transformation

Catalyzing Cross-Sector Health Partnerships for Racial Equity

The increased awareness following the COVID-19 pandemic, of devastating racial inequities that impact health, wealth, and wellbeing, provides us with a unique opportunity. We have a choice to maintain systems that uphold systemic racism with all its negative consequences or to redress and build healthy, inclusive, and resilient communities. Community development and health practitioners are becoming increasingly focused on how their work advances goals of racial equity. This session will elevate racial equity as the key driver of health and wellbeing and focus on how advancing goals of racial justice is essential in community development, health, and cross-sector collaboration.

Vedette Gavin, Director of Research and Partnerships,
Conservation Law Foundation

Marissa McKeever, Director of Government and Community Affairs,
Sibley Memorial Hospital, Johns Hopkins

Lacy Serros, Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Ruth Thomas-Squance, Director of Field Building, Build Healthy Places Network

Challenges to Accessing Capital for Developers of Color

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession have magnified underlying economic inequalities in the US, particularly for people and communities of color. As the racial wealth gap grows, how do developers of color access capital so they can participate in equitable community revitalization initiatives? Join representatives from Capital Impact Partners, Dantes Partners, the Low Income Investment Fund, and Southbanc as they discuss the challenges developers of color face in accessing capital, and how CDFIs are working with developers of color to provide capital, build capacity, and increase resources in communities of color.

Kayla Baker, DC Initiatives Manager, Capital Impact Partners
Buwa Binitie, Managing Principal, Dantes Partners
Holly Denniston-Chase, Deputy Director, Mid-Atlantic and Central Regions,
Low Income Investment Fund

Faraji Whalen-Robinson, Founder, Southbanc

The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Launch of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs

COVID-19, the economic downturn, and the mass protests sparked by the deaths of unarmed African Americans have illuminated the racial and income inequities in the US. The median wealth of White households is 20x that of African American households, African Americans are almost 3 times less likely to have a bank account compared to the general population, and only 44% of African Americans own a home compared to 73.5% of White Americans. The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs is a new coalition committed to closing the wealth gap and identifying opportunities that will result in greater investments in member-led CDFIs. Leaders will discuss the challenges members face in building their CDFIs, Alliance priorities and partnerships, and how they define success.

Cliff Barber, Chief Strategy Officer, Archdiocese of Chicago
Donna Gambrell, President and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital
Inez Long, President and CEO, Black Business Investment Fund
Lenwood V Long Sr, President, BV&L Associates

The Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx Small Business: What Happened and What’s Next?

Latinx-owned businesses (LOBs) are the largest and fastest-growing underbanked business segment in the US. This cohort has 4.65 million businesses and is growing at 2x the rate of non Latinx-owned businesses with an increase of 40.2%, compared to 18.8% for all US businesses. Despite their size, LOBs are at a higher risk of permanently closing their doors and—amidst our current global crisis—are further disadvantaged by lack of access to capital. Camino Financial U.S. Latinx Small Business survey consists of research that offers unique insights into the impact of COVID-19 on LOBs. Our fireside chat will discuss LOBs who received a disproportionately small share of PPP relief. This discussion will be facilitated by Xiomara Peña who will be interviewing Sean Salas, CEO of Camino Financial.

Xiomara Peña, VP, Engagement, Small Business Majority
Sean Salas, CEO, Camino Financial

Impact Rating and DEI: What, Why & How

Panelists will discuss how to build tools that assess the social impact of potential investments, how they assess projects’ impact for historically-disenfranchised communities, particularly those that are Black, Indigenous and/or people of color (BIPOC), and the strengths and limitations of these tools and assessments. Participants will leave the session able to build comprehensive, credible impact rating tools and to avoid common pitfalls in assessing and communicating impact. Participants also will learn about what some organizations consider when assessing impact specifically for BIPOC, even as panelists recognize the need to evolve and expand that work. Participants will be invited to participate in ongoing field-building discussions about how to improve related practices.

Catherine Dun Rappaport, Vice President, Learning and Impact Measurement,
BlueHub Capital

Michael McCreless, Executive Director, Impact Frontiers Initiative,
Impact Management Project

Erika Seth Davies, Founder, The Racial Equity Asset Lab
Tom Woelfel, Director, Research & Consulting, Pacific Community Ventures (PCV)

The Journey Is the Destination: How CDFIs Can Move from “Colorblind” to “Antiracist”

Women of color accounted for 89% of new businesses opened every day over the year before COVID-19. Black women are 300% more likely to launch a new business than a white person, and Latinas are 180% more likely−and both are more likely to fail, due to lack of affordable capital and access to business advising. The CDFI industry was founded as an antidote to the failings of the traditional financial system, like red lining and lending discrimination. We’re working hard to close these gaps, but “colorblind” policies and ways of doing business hold us back from truly centering Black and Brown business owners and confronting racial and economic injustice head on. As an industry we must move from colorblind to antiracist, and this session is an open and frank discussion of how we do it.

Donna Gambrell, President and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital
Bulbul Gupta, President and CEO, Pacific Community Ventures (PCV)
Rosa Rios Valdez, President and CEO, BCL of Texas
Pearl Wicks, Chief Operating Officer, Hope Credit Union

Looking in the Mirror: Racial Disparities and CDFIs

Analysis by McKinsey Global Institute found if the racial wealth gap were closed, US GDP would have been $1.5 trillion greater over the next decade. Importantly, Black-led financial institutions play a vital role in closing these gaps by locating in minority communities and originating loans at higher rates to people of color than other lenders. Yet, 70% of African American communities lack a bank branch and nearly half of Black-owned banks have closed since 2008. While CDFIs exist to close financial gaps in underserved areas, on average, White-led CDFIs are over twice the size of CDFIs led by people of color. Four CDFI veterans will discuss these challenges, as well as opportunities facing the field to ensure more equitable outcomes among communities of color, and within the CDFI sector.

Bill Bynum, CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation
Donna Gambrell, President and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital
Inez Long, President and CEO, Black Business Investment Fund
Justin Maxson, Executive Director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation