Our Stories

11.13.2019 -

“It Has To Start With the Children”: Q&A With Juanita Woods

Rubinger Fellow Juanita Woods is a community development practitioner and city council member in Monroe, LA who specializes in helping people skill up to take on living-wage jobs with local employers. She spoke with LISC about her fellowship project to provide apprenticeships for young people, the challenges of wealth-building in historically underserved communities, and the inspiration she gets from empowering youth on their life journeys.

Serving Richmond Students Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Q&A with Damon Jiggetts

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.

7.22.2019 -

Innovation in Child Welfare Through Pay for Success

LISC’s Pay for Success team shares an update on Safe Families for Children and our new report that covers the barriers and opportunities for innovation within the child welfare system. Below, the team provides insight into two new key opportunities that have presented themselves since the completion of the report.  

7.16.2019 -

The Justice League

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.

6.25.2019 -

LGBTQ Pride in Rural America

As our country celebrates LGBTQ pride, we're focusing on some of the challenges for LGBTQ people living in rural America. Community developers are in a key position to support LGBTQ rural residents as part of our work helping build flourishing and inclusive communities.