The latest news on community wealth building initiatives!
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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our November newsletter. This month’s developments include: 
  • Last month, we launched our Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort, which includes SUNY Buffalo State; Cleveland State University; Drexel University; Rutgers University – Newark; The University of Memphis; and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Building off the framework from our Anchor Dashboard report, this group of universities will work together to measure their impact in communities, and share results, challenges and successes.
  • Community wealth building strategies are gaining attention across the nation as well as internationally. In the Center for American Progress’ TalkPoverty blog, I discuss the need for a new federal policy strategy to help cities leverage the economic might of their anchor institutions to benefit communities. Journalist Tanvi Misra also discusses anchors as a place-based community revitalization strategy in an article in The Atlantic’s CityLab. In an openDemocracy article, University of Oxford political theorist Stuart White notes the role that community wealth building can have as a potential solution to widening inequality. Fast Company magazine celebrates Thunder Valley Community Economic Development Corporation, a participant in our Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building from the Pine Ridge Reservation, for its Regenerative Community Plan.
  • In a Truthout article, Democracy Collaborative Co-founder Gar Alperovitz argued that in the face of national political stalemate and economic stagnation, local communities can set the foundations for far-reaching wealth-democratizing strategies. In an Al Jazeera article, Gar emphasized the role of broad movements and new economic institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen global warming. Gar explored challenges presented by climate change at the Praxis Institute’s Economics of Sustainability Conference and discussed community wealth building at La Montanita Co-op’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 
As always, we continue to add new links, articles, reports, and other materials to the site. Look for this symbol *NEW* to find the most recent additions.

Ted Howard
Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative

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In this Newsletter:

New from the Democracy Collaborative

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On our Blog:

Looking towards the next century of community foundations

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

Infographic: Impact of CDFIs

Infographics: Community Foundations and the "New Anchor Mission"

Fostering the Power of Universities and Hospitals for Community Change

How a worker cooperative factory is helping bring textile manufacturing back to North Carolina


New from The Democracy Collaborative

New Report Highlights Emerging Anchor Mission in the Community Foundation Field

In our newest report, A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community Foundations Deploying All Resources to Build Community Wealth, Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly and Community Development Associate Violeta Duncan suggest that the nation’s network of hundreds of community foundations can act as anchor institutions. The report identifies an emerging trend of community foundations leveraging more of their assets—staff, thought leadership, convening, grantmaking and investment strategies—to strengthen their communities’ economies and maximize local impact. Aiming to create family-supporting jobs, strengthen community-based businesses, and address our nation’s staggering wealth inequalities, community foundations nationwide are beginning to adopt an anchor mission focused on building community wealth. Find Out More»

C-W Interview: José Corona

This month we interview José Corona, Executive Director of Inner City Advisors (ICA), a nonprofit technical assistance group that helps build sustainable and responsible businesses that create quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to building a strong and vibrant local economy. Based in Oakland, California, ICA provides pro bono services to assist firms with financial management, operational support, and human resources. These services have helped to create 2,700 jobs, 80 percent of which are located in inner-city communities. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Study Recommends Federal Action to Spur Anchor Institution Investment

Recognizing that anchor institutions are the largest employers in 66 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, mayors across the nation are working with universities and nonprofit hospitals to foster economic growth in disinvested communities. In this new report from the Center for American Progress, author Tracey Ross explores how federal officials can further enhance the role of such anchor institutions in promoting community economic development. She recommends the use of a framework based on The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard to hold anchor institutions accountable and to help illustrate to Congress and other stakeholders the extent of their impact in communities. Read More»


Detroit Revives its Food Economy

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents. Read More»

Racial Inequality Costs the Economy $2 Trillion Every Year

PolicyLink and the University of Southern California’s (USC) Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) have released what is envisioned to be the first in a series of research briefs drawing from data in the National Equity Atlas, a new online resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth. The paper examines how widening racial inequalities in wages, employment, and education depress local economies and pose a national threat as people of color become an ever increase percentage of the national population. Read More»

New Memoir Proposes a New Environmentalism


In his new memoir, Angels by the River, Gus Speth, Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow and Co-Chair of the Next System Project, describes his personal journey to become one of our nation’s most prominent environmental leaders and activists. Speth, who is also a co-founder of the Natural Resource Defense Council and founder of the World Resources Institute, protests America’s deep social and income inequalities and urges a transition to a new environmentalism, one predicated on an environmentally and socially restorative economy. Read More»

Featured Websites

CDFI Coverage Map

This new website from the Opportunity Finance Network measures community development financial institution (CDFI) coverage across the United States. Users can view individual loans and aggregated loan data on CDFI lending since 2010; add data layers such as ethnicity, income, and unemployment; and zoom in on specific local geographies, including counties, zip codes, and congressional districts. Find Out More»

Talk Poverty

The Half in Ten Education Fund, a project of the Center for American Progress, launched to demonstrate effective solutions to cut poverty in half in 10 years. This website offers basic data about poverty in America and highlights national voices, grassroots activism, and policy work of those working to reduce economic insecurity. Find Out More»

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