Mai Kou Yang grew up in a Hmong enclave in the small town of Stevens Point, WI, where she and her family benefitted from many life-line services—including housing, employment and early childhood education—offered by a local nonprofit. Today, as a LISC AmeriCorps member, she is supporting her natal community, teaching digital literacy to Hmong families through the same organization that helped her. In celebration of AmeriCorps week, we are sharing Yang’s extraordinary story.
The city of Greenville, MS sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, at the heart of the agricultural Delta. It is also a birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, where community leaders and residents are carrying on the fight for social and economic justice in the long-underinvested region. As part of our celebration of Black History Month, we are highlighting the work of Greenville’s chief of police, Delando Wilson, who partners with LISC in his wide-ranging efforts to build a safer, more prosperous and racially equitable Greenville.
To fulfill our mission of catalyzing opportunity across the country, we are launching the LISC Rural Promise, a commitment to elevate our impact in rural America to 20 percent of our total over the next three years. The Rural Promise will build on 25 years of LISC's investment in and partnership-building with rural people and places. Now, we're taking it to the next level. We chose this week to launch our renewed effort in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose movement for civil rights and racial equity was rooted in rural America, where extraordinary talent, communities, businesses and natural resources are poised today to fuel a competitive national economy.
LISC's CEO explains the how and why of the LISC Rural Promise, our organization-wide commitment to achieve 20 percent of our community development impact in rural America over the next three years.
On a post-hurricane assessment visit to Puerto Rico, LISC Rural program officer Anna Hurt learned that baseball fields around the island are more than just a place for a game, they are a vital resource that brings the neighborhood together and boosts local economies. Damage to community fields is still deeply felt throughout the island. In this blog, Anna shares the value of bringing sports and recreation into the disaster recovery discussion and the launch of Play Ball Again, a new initiative to revive 25 fields for 17,500 boys and girls across Puerto Rico. Last week, LISC celebrated the opening of two such fields, with support from Maestro Cares Foundation, Good Bunny Foundation, UNICEF USA, and Chicago Cubs Charities, and showed how communities like the one where Ana lives come together for the love of the game, and one another.