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.
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.
Donsia Strong-Hill, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, was tapped to give the keynote address at Milwaukee Biz Journal’s Women of Influence Awards last week—and to mark that distinction, the Journal interviewed her about LISC’s investments to spark and grow small businesses in historically underinvested, minority communities. It’s a critical tool, said Strong-Hill, for supporting families of color to build generational wealth.