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.
In a blog for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Healthcare Quarterly, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones makes the case for pioneering partnerships between healthcare organizations and community development, uniting to upend the roots of poor health. LISC’s collaborations with ProMedica and Bon Secours Health System, among other companies, are powerful examples of how our combined assets, knowledge and experience can begin to close America’s longevity gap.
LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones takes a hopeful look at the future in an interview with Philanthropy News Digest, pointing to the wealth of untapped talent in American communities as evidence that there are gains yet to come. "The question is, what do we do as a society to ensure that these people are able to fulfill their promise?” For LISC, that includes a range of local investments, from employment skills training to entrepreneurship to affordable housing development, all of which help expand economic opportunity and support a good quality of life.
A new study on race and economic mobility in the United States by economists Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren stresses the role that neighborhoods can play in closing the country’s yawning, race-based opportunity gap. In the blog that follows, David Greenberg, LISC’s new director of Research and Evaluation, unpacks the lessons of the study, and posits how the findings can help guide the work of LISC and its partners going forward.