In Richmond, Virginia, 86 percent of students don't take part in after-school activities—in many cases because they have no way of getting there. Damon Jiggetts, executive director of the Peter Paul Development Center and a 2019 Rubinger Fellow, has devised a new kind of bus company that could change all that, connecting youth to the kind of enrichment every child deserves.
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.
If Opportunity Zones are to empower residents, then directing OZ funds to education must be part of the investment equation. That’s the message of an in depth article in Education Next (published by Harvard’s Kennedy School) which cites LISC’s work in the Opportunity Zones—and our OZ playbook for community partners—as vital to helping residents reap the promised benefits of the tax legislation.
This year, the Federal Reserve is taking a “listening tour” of America in order to update its economic policies and strategy. In an article for Vox, economist Jared Bernstein analyzed a recent Fed panel where LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones described how the tight labor market has the potential to help those the economy has long left in the dust. The Fed, noted Bernstein, would do well to heed that insight.
For more than 30 years, LISC’s National Equity Fund (NEF) affiliate has been developing innovative solutions to affordable housing challenges. In a Q&A conversation with LISC, new CEO Matt Reilein takes a look at NEF’s unique value proposition, as the company looks to build on its record $1.2 billion in investments from 2018.