Donsia Strong-Hill, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, was tapped to give the keynote address at Milwaukee Biz Journal’s Women of Influence Awards last week—and to mark that distinction, the Journal interviewed her about LISC’s investments to spark and grow small businesses in historically underinvested, minority communities. It’s a critical tool, said Strong-Hill, for supporting families of color to build generational wealth.
A strong and vibrant workforce helps fuel community growth as well as business success. That’s why Union Pacific Railroad is supporting LISC Financial Opportunity Centers and contributing the expertise of its staff to industrial training programs that help people compete for family-sustaining jobs. Union Pacific’s Chiquita Morgan urges employers to "get out from behind our walls" and help advance the efforts of workforce development agencies, neighborhood groups and others who are helping people build a stronger financial future for themselves and their community.
Few people in the world of community development got their start as early in life as Lahela Williams, a 2019 Rubinger Fellow who serves as the deputy director for Hawaiian Community Assets. Williams was barely a teen when she joined the board of her homestead association, a group that promoted safety, education and other quality-of-life issues for the Native community where she grew up on the island of O’ahu. That first job helped lay the foundation of a career dedicated to nurturing Hawaiian community leadership, as well as financial and personal empowerment for her fellow islanders.
As she steps into her new roll as COO for LISC, Annie Donovan, former head of the CDFI Fund, shares some reflections on the current promise—and challenges—of doing community investment, the origins of her personal commitment to service and creating equitable opportunity, and the reasons she decided to come to LISC.
Check out our top three reads of the week. They cover the challenges and opportunities facing American communities right now. This week, we’re reading an excerpt from Alexander Garvin's latest book, contemplating what constitutes a “good job” and learning about health equity in rural America.