Thomas Wyatt, a researcher, urban planner and 2019 Rubinger Fellow from Flint, Michigan, discusses what it takes to forge cross-sector partnerships that can achieve authentic community change. A prime example: Flint’s University Avenue Corridor Coalition brought residents and institutions together to reduce a neighborhood’s entrenched blight and crime when nothing else could.
We first published this story about the RVA League for Safer Streets and its co-founders, Jawad Abdu and Paul Taylor, in January. Sadly, Jawad Abdu died of a heart attack on July 13, 2019. We are reposting the article to commemorate Abdu's work and commitment to his community, which will be carried forward by his partners Taylor and Robert Morris. In less than three years, the RVA League for Safer Streets, a basketball-plus-education program for young men from Richmond communities with high crime rates, has had an extraordinary peace-making impact in the lives of participants—and on the city at large. Its founders were informed by experience and insight wrought by decades behind bars, which is why the League is dedicated to keeping people out of prison, and helping those who are returning to become successful members of their communities. The article that follows contains audio quotes from the League's founders about pivotal experiences in their lives in and outside of prison.
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.
On the evening of April 23rd, 700 partners, colleagues and allies gathered to officially mark LISC's 40th anniversary at a gala celebration in New York City. Special guests and speakers included New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. And of course, our 20-year board chair, former US Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, the evening's distinguished honoree.