Category Archives: Events

Baltimore and Beyond: Creating Opportunity in Places – Brookings Institution Forum

For links to Video, Audio & Transcript:

Informative and insightful forum hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, “featuring hands-on experts to reflect on promising practices to help young people and families in distressed communities participate in an advanced economy that works for all.”


May 21, 2015

Summary: “Recent events in Baltimore and St. Louis underscore the enduring challenges the nation faces in trying to create neighborhoods of opportunity amid entrenched poverty, long-term disinvestment, and stark racial divides. Baltimore was an early pioneer in applying new comprehensive approaches to neighborhood revitalization. Since then, the practice of joining people- and place-based strategies has evolved, driven by both public and private sector leaders. The Great Recession has reversed progress in some ways as unemployment, foreclosures, and stagnant wages increased poverty. As the nation now focuses on its struggling urban areas, it is critical to broadly examine what cities, counties, and the nation have learned since the redevelopment of Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood….”


Welcome by Jennifer S. Vey, Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

Panel Discussion

Amy Liu (Moderator) — Co-Director and Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

Derek Douglas — Vice President for Civic Engagement, The University of Chicago

Frederick B. (Bart) Harvey III — Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Community Partners

Joel Miranda — Director of Leadership Development and Graduate Leadership, YouthBuild USA

Donald Hinkle-Brown — President/CEO, The Reinvestment Fund

Michael Smith — Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, The White House


Los Angeles 1992 to Baltimore 2015: Washington’s Changed Response to Urban CrisisBruce Katz. Brookings Institution. May 27, 2015.

Beyond Baltimore: Building on What We Know to Create Neighborhood Opportunities. Amy Liu. Brookings Institution. May 12, 2015.

Yes, There Are Two Baltimores. Jennifer S. Vey and Alan Berube. Brookings Institution. May 15, 2015.

Good Fortune, Dire Poverty, and Inequality in Baltimore: An American Story. Alan Berube and Brad McDearman. Brookings Institution. May 11, 2015.


Closing the Racial Wealth Gap – The 2015 Color of Wealth Summit


The 2015 Color of Wealth Summit, organized by the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS) and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (ICCED), was held at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on April 30, 2015.

The annual summit seeks to “engage Members of Congress, Congressional staff, the media, and the public in a dialogue about the racial wealth gap, its effect on marginalized households, its impact on the U.S. economy, and solutions for closing the gap.”

The informative and insightful sessions featured, among others: Members of Congress, policy researchers, economists, academics, and nonprofit, community development, financial and media professionals.

Watch videos of sessions here:

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Stephen DeBerry on the Power of Impact Investing to Foster Black Progress

16535_200_150One of the very interesting presentations at the Innovation and Impact Forum for Black Male Achievement conference, held October 3, 2012 in New York City, was on the transformational potential of “impact investing” by Stephen DeBerry, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Bronze Investments and a partner at Kapor Capital

According to his bio, DeBerry “makes and manages investments that align strong financial returns with positive social impact.”

Watch his full presentation here: Stephen DeBerry: Power of Impact Investing & Technology.


The essay, Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund, discusses impact investing in the context of a national resource-pooling “impact fund” that can attract investments from millions of black investors.

See also: Pooling Our Resources on a Large, Transformative Scale: Breaking Through the Trust Barrier

Community Investment Network Annual Conference, “The Philanthropic Renaissance,” to Foster Leveraging of Our Collective Resources

The Community Investment Network (CIN) is a national network of giving circles and “everyday philanthropists” that “inspires, connects and strengthens African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see.”

CIN’s 2012 conference, titled The Philanthropic Renaissance: Illuminating Creative Expressions of Giving, was held in Birmingham, Alabama, October 4-7, 2012. Among other things, the conference highlighted the growing movement of giving circles and community philanthropy.

For more information, visit the conference website and blog.

See also’s report on the conference: The “Philanthropic Renaissance” Illuminates Creative Expressions of Giving in Birmingham.

“Why Giving Circles? Why Now?” Webinar Hosted by Friends of Ebonie (from

As noted in previous blog entries [Black Philanthropy and the Creation of a Transformational National Resource-Pooling FundRegional Resource-Pooling Initiatives], giving circles are “micro models” of the ambitiously transformational, large-scale, national resource-pooling fund discussed in the article, Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund. Giving circles could potentially proliferate and grow into potent variants of such a fund at regional and national levels.

Tracey Webb, the laudable advocate of giving circles and philanthropy at, reports on a recent webinar titled: “Why Giving Circles? Why Now?” (available online here). According to Ms. Webb, “[y]ou’ll learn what a giving circle is, how they work, and why they are essential to communities of color. You’ll also learn why I started The Black Benefactors and resources if you’d like to start or join a giving circle.”

[Full post at “Why Giving Circles? Why Now?” Hosted by Friends of Ebonie.]

Do You Know a “Black Progress Innovator” (BPI)?

Excerpt from: Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund:

 “…Thus, to overcome the barrier of prospective investors’ skepticism and distrust as to whether their contributions will be well-utilized, a nonpartisan and nonideological (or perhaps centrist) organization that is sponsored and managed by highly accomplished and reputable people, and is unencumbered by ideological and political baggage, would be best able to convince large numbers of African Americans to invest in the [resource-pooling] EXCEL Fund.

Clearly, a group of talented, motivated, and dedicated entrepreneurial visionaries who have strong credibility and proven records of accomplishment, and who engender trust and confidence, would be able to generate interest and enthusiasm among the black population and jump-start/run such a fund.

Call them the “Black Progress Innovators” (BPIs). And, of course, they exist in large numbers.

A few BPIs may be well-off enough to pool sufficient funds to jump-start the Fund all by themselves. However, most are more likely to have limited personal wealth. Such BPIs would pool whatever limited amounts of their own they can afford and, perhaps with supplementary contributions from other individuals and/or foundations, obtain the seed money for financing the initial groundwork required to get the organization started. They would prepare a credible and compelling business plan that spells out realistic goals and how the Fund will work to achieve them. Then, because they have unblemished reputations and strong records of achievement and demonstrated competence, they would be able to convince as few as five prominent and accomplished public figures to lend their credibility, prestige, and imprimatur to the effort…”

Know a few BPIs? Let us know!

For more on how “Black Progress Innovators” can create an EXCEL Fund or similar initiatives, see: Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund