In recognition of Black History Month, LISC Phoenix program officer Dominic Braham reflects on the African-American history of his city, and how the influence of a historic “dividing line” between downtown and the redlined neighborhoods of South Phoenix still shapes its communities. Developing local leadership of color, connecting people with the region’s prosperity, and committing to racial equity as the city develops, he explains, are keys to authentic civic engagement and a more inclusive Phoenix. Photo courtesy of InSite Consultants.
In an opinion piece for the Providence Journal, LISC Rhode Island ED Jeanne Cola stresses the need for a dedicated funding stream to alleviate the state’s affordable housing gap—a gap that is widening as fewer resources are funneled to housing solutions. Without such funding, she writes, “money spent on education, workforce training and economic development will not have the impact we hope it all will.”
Mona Mangat has been a core member of LISC’s community safety team for more than a decade and was recently named National Director for Safety and Justice. She now leads our work to support community-law enforcement partnerships in neighborhoods across the country and spearheads LISC’s increased focus on “pre-entry” and “re-entry” programming: that is, strategies to help prevent vulnerable residents from getting caught up in the justice system in the first place, and to support formerly incarcerated people as they rejoin their communities and the workforce.
A recent flurry of media coverage has shone a spotlight on the decline in opioid overdose deaths in Dayton, Ohio, a city that has been at the epicenter of the crisis. In an article for Next City, Mona Mangat, national director of LISC's Safety & Justice programs, and Matthew Perkins, a senior program officer and criminologist, parse the crucial ways a DOJ grant and technical assistance from LISC helped the community of East Dayton tackle opioid-driven crime and disorder—a local approach hundreds of communities can learn from.
In an article for Shelterforce, LISC DC’s Adam Kent and Erik Martinez Resly, co-director of The Sanctuaries arts organization, offer a nuanced assessment of the challenges and tremendous payoff of linking artists, community developers and residents to invigorate neighborhoods. “At their roots, both the arts and community development amplify a people’s voice,” write the authors. But clear communication and a willingness to embrace the perspectives of other stakeholders is key to building successful collaborations.