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.
LISC has tapped the former chief resilience officer for the city of Norfolk as executive director of its new full-service program office in Hampton Roads, Va. Christine Morris will kick off work this month to lead LISC’s local investments in affordable housing, businesses, health and jobs—all designed to expand economic opportunity for residents.
We need to look at the impact of investing in rural community development on its own terms, argues Suzanne Anarde, outgoing vice president and director of Rural LISC in an essay for Shelterforce. Projects may not touch the numbers of people or generate the returns of urban investments, but their effects are every bit as important, and ripple far and wide through the small, intricately connected networks of rural life.
In an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones and Howard Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare, describe how their new $100 million will take aim at the social determinants of health in Virginia. Investing in housing, job training and placement, education and transportation, among other requisites of a healthy life, are key to closing the life expectancy gap and creating a strong economy, they argue. Now is the time for corporations, nonprofits and charitable organizations to play leadership roles in making those investments a reality.