Our Initiatives

Rubinger Community Fellowship

The Rubinger Community Fellowship:

  • Invests directly in local change makers across America; 
  • Supports innovative solutions within community development; 
  • Champions diverse nonprofit leadership. 

Each of LISC's 2019 fellows has shown a unique commitment to the community development field.

The fellowship is named in honor of Michael Rubinger, LISC’s former CEO, who pioneered new ways to revitalize communities throughout his 40-year career.

LISC awarded $40,000 to each fellow to support a special project that addresses critical challenges in rural and urban America — from economic development and financial literacy to affordable housing and community engagement. Their overarching goal is to develop innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for people and places, and connect them to the broader economy.

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2019 Fellows


Rudy Espinoza
Leadership for Urban Renewal Network; Los Angeles, CA

Damon Jiggetts
The Peter Paul Development Center; Richmond, VA

Helen Leung
LA-Mas; Los Angeles, CA

Kelly Orians
Rising Foundations; New Orleans, LA

Natalia Otero
DC SAFE; Washington, D.C.

Lahela Williams
Hawaiian Community Assets; Honolulu, HI

Juanita Woods
NOVA; Monroe, LA

Thomas Wyatt
Kettering University; Flint, MI

Javier E. Zapata-Rodriguez
Pathstone Corporation; Ponce, PR


They come from all corners of the country, and all share a deep commitment to helping their communities thrive. Meet the 2019 class of the Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship. 

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From Recidivism to Rebuilding Lives: Q&A With Kelly Orians
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Constructing Resilience, Two Years After María: Q&A with Javier Zapata-Rodríguez
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Margaret Lareau, Program Manager

Leadership support provided by Lisa & Dick Cashin and Robert E. Rubin