LISC’s SVP of economic development Bill Taft, LISC LA executive director Tunua, Thrash-Ntuk and Hanna Love of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program offer a concrete outline for how local organizations, stakeholders and policy makers can help spark economic vibrancy and inclusion in historically under-invested communities. Invoking the myriad causes of LA’s homelessness crisis, the blog for Brookings offers a multi-pronged place-based and people-centered approach that is forging authentic change in South LA, and in parts of Philadelphia and Indianapolis, too.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Nonprofit Quarterly, LISC COO Annie Donovan delves into LISC’s 40 years of connecting capital to disinvested places, and people to opportunity. From spearheading a “comprehensive” approach in community development, to elevating health and racial equity in its investments, to forging a $500M affordable housing fund for the Bay Area, LISC continually refines and augments its work. The commitment to truly upend inequalities demands intentional action, says Donovan, which has led LISC to take on “more capacity building, more support for advocacy. That is how you create systems change.”
Twenty years ago, J.F. Bryan IV, a Florida insurance executive with a deep-rooted commitment to his city’s communities, spearheaded a fundraising campaign that got LISC Jacksonville off the ground. The story of Bryan’s tenure as head of LISC Jax’s local advisory board shows what it takes to drive a successful LISC program—boundless dedication to creating opportunity, and an intimate knowledge of local places and the people who make them hum. Says Bryan, “Every neighborhood, regardless of how challenged, has human resources.”
Chicago, like so many cities in the U.S., has jobs that need filling, and would-be workers who need the skills to build careers. A must-read article from Chicago’s WBEZ dives deep into how community organizations like the Jane Addams Resource Corp, our longtime partner and manager of a LISC-backed Bridges to Career Opportunities program, connect people with the technical and soft skills needed to land, and grow in, good, 21st-century manufacturing jobs.
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.