Community Investing: Tools for These Times

Fueling Transformational Change
Oct 12, 2021 10:10 AM ET

by Donna Katzin, founder of Shared Interest 

Today, in our current political and social environment, the demand to invest in undercapitalized Black and Brown communities resonates with particular urgency – and for good reasons. In the U.S. alone, white families have accumulated seven times more wealth than Black families and five times more than Latinx families, and during the pandemic twice as many Black-owned as white-owned businesses have been forced to close. 

Investing in low-income communities struggling at the margins of the mainstream economy has been a pillar of socially responsible investing for more than half a century – the movement has now broadened to include “sustainable” and “impact investing.” While faith-based and other investors have also launched corporate dialogues and screened their investments to end slavery, advance civil rights, stop the Vietnam War, abolish apartheid and combat climate change – many have proactively invested in undercapitalized and disempowered communities.

Just as this movement gathered momentum on the heels of the Civil Rights and anti-apartheid movements, it is particularly relevant now to strengthen Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and to help reverse the concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands. This agenda prioritizes transforming an economy by using Community Investing which redirects resources to enterprises, homes and facilities in communities marginalized by racial, gender and economic exclusion. At the same time – place-based strategies can further challenge an inequitable status quo by empowering vulnerable communities, linking them to broader social movements, and impacting institutions that keep their residents poor and powerless.

Read Donna's full article on the Tools and Organizations making a positive impact today