Richmond, Virginia

The 32nd in our continuing series of Community Wealth Cities is Richmond, Virginia. Richmond has a complex history; once the capital of the Confederacy, it was also the first city to host a bank chartered by African- Americans. Its unique legacy as a site of both racial tension and progress creates interesting challenges and opportunities for community wealth building. Last fall, Richmond gained national attention for Mayor Dwight Jones’ anti-poverty plan, which calls for broad expansion of community wealth building and social enterprise activity.

November 2014

  • We join in the celebration of the 25th annual Community Foundation Week with the release of our most recent report, A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community Foundations Deploying All Resources to Build Community Wealth.
  • Last month, we launched our Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort, which includes SUNY Buffalo State; Cleveland State University; Drexel University; Rutgers University – Newark; The University of Memphis; and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Building off the framework from our Anchor Dashboard report, this group of universities will work together to measure their impact in communities, and share results, challenges and successes.
  • In the Center for American Progress’ TalkPoverty blog, Executive Director Ted Howard discuss the need for a new federal policy strategy to help cities leverage the economic might of their anchor institutions to benefit communities.
  • Journalist Tanvi Misra discusses anchors as a place-based community revitalization strategy in an article in The Atlantic’s CityLab.
  • In an openDemocracy article, University of Oxford political theorist Stuart White notes the role that community wealth building can have as a potential solution to widening inequality. Fast Company magazine celebrates Thunder Valley Community Economic Development Corporation, a participant in our Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building from the Pine Ridge Reservation, for its Regenerative Community Plan.
  • In a Truthout article, Democracy Collaborative Co-founder Gar Alperovitz argued that in the face of national political stalemate and economic stagnation, local communities can set the foundations for far-reaching wealth-democratizing strategies. In an Al Jazeera article, Gar emphasized the role of broad movements and new economic institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen global warming. Gar explored challenges presented by climate change at the Praxis Institute’s Economics of Sustainability Conference and discussed community wealth building at La Montanita Co-op’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 
  • This month we interview José Corona, Executive Director of Inner City Advisors (ICA), a nonprofit technical assistance group that helps build sustainable and responsible businesses that create quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to building a strong and vibrant local economy. 

Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Year-Long Junior Fellowship in Communications and Research

November 20th, 2014 -- john
Assist with web content, outreach strategies, and research into systemic economic alternatives

The Democracy Collaborative, a national research institute developing new strategies to build community wealth and exploring systemic transformations to a more democratic economy, is pleased to announce a one-year paid Junior Fellowship.  The selected candidate will work alongside our communications and research teams.

Applications are due by December 5th.  The selected candidate should be prepared to start in early January 2015.

Responsibilities:

Read more about Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Year-Long Junior Fellowship in Communications and Research...

Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact

November 19th, 2014 -- john
Learning cohort will build off the recommendations in The Democracy Collaborative’s report "The Anchor Dashboard"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Takoma Park, MD — November 19th, 2014

The Democracy Collaborative, with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has convened a group of anchor institution leaders from six universities to explore how to better align their operations to benefit the places they call home. Read more about Press Release: Six Universities Partner with The Democracy Collaborative to Develop and Share Best Practices for Measuring Community Impact...

José Corona

José Corona is Chief Executive Officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA), a position he has held since 2004. ICA is a nonprofit technical assistance group that helps build sustainable and responsible businesses that create quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to building a strong and vibrant local economy. Since its founding, ICA has helped to create and retain over 7,000 jobs in the Bay Area, creating or retaining 2,717 jobs in 2013 alone that pay an average hourly wage of $14.50 and generate over $68 million in total wealth for the local community.

November 2014

*NEW* Speth, Gus, Angels by the River, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, October 21, 2014, 1-224.


In his new memoir, Angels by the River, Gus Speth, Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow and Co-Chair of the Next System Project, describes his personal journey to become one of our nation’s most prominent environmental leaders and activists. Speth, who is also a co-founder of the Natural Resource Defense Council and founder of the World Resources Institute, protests America’s deep social and income inequalities and urges a transition to a new environmentalism, one predicated on an environmentally and socially restorative economy. 

*NEW* Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development, LLC, Economic Analysis Of Detroit’s Food System, Detroit, MI: Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative, 2014, 1-174.

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents. 

*NEW* Tracey Ross, Eds, Meds, and the Feds How the Federal Government Can Foster the Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Revitalization, Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, October 2014.
Recognizing that anchor institutions are the largest employers in 66 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, mayors across the nation are working with universities and nonprofit hospitals to foster economic growth in disinvested communities. In this new report from the Center for American Progress, author Tracey Ross explores how federal officials can further enhance the role of such anchor institutions in promoting community economic development. She recommends the use of a framework based on The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard to hold anchor institutions accountable and to help illustrate to Congress and other stakeholders the extent of their impact in communities.
*NEW* Marjorie Kelly and Violeta Duncan, A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth, Washington, DC: The Democracy Collaborative, November 17, 2014.

As the community foundation field reaches the century mark and faces growing pressure on its business model, many communities at the same time are struggling with economic distress. To meet these converging challenges, an innovative group of community foundations are beginning to deepen and shift how they work—adopting an anchor mission that seeks to fully deploy all resources to build community wealth. They are calling on all assets at their disposal—financial, human, intellectual, and political—in service of their communities’ economic well-being. Moving into territory relatively uncharted for community foundations, they are taking up impact investing and economic development—some in advanced ways, others with small steps. This report offers an overview of how 30 representative community foundations, large and small, urban and rural, are working toward adopting this new anchor mission.

*NEW* Stuart White, "Alternative liberal solutions to economic inequality," openDemocracy, November 5, 2014.

University of Oxford political theorist Stuart White notes the role that community wealth building can have as a potential solution to widening inequality.

*NEW* Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development, LLC, Economic Analysis Of Detroit’s Food System, Detroit, MI: Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative, 2014, 1-174.

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents. 

Featured publication

  • A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth

    October 30th, 2014 -- john
    Marjorie Kelly and Violeta Duncan

    It was in 2005 that the highly regarded Monitor Institute report declared that the field of community foundations was “On the Brink of New Promise,” and in the decade since, there have been countless working groups and initiatives to introduce innovative approaches to the field. At the same time, largely beneath the radar, a small but growing group has begun pursuing the innovative path we explore here. Mostly in small steps—but sometimes in larger ways—they are adopting elements of what could emerge as a new anchor mission to deploy all resources to build community wealth.

Featured media

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How do you build community wealth? Here's some of the basic principles of a successful approach:

Community Wealth Cities

C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio

Incorporated as a city in 1819, Cincinnati grew steadily through the mid-1900s due to its prime location on the Ohio River.  In fact, the Queen City—so dubbed by Longfellow, who referred to it as “the Queen of the West”—weathered the Great Depression better than most cities of comparable size because of the resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than rail.  By 1950, Cincinnati had grown to its peak of nearly 504,000 residents, making it the 18th largest city in the country. Read more about C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio...

Community Wealth Interviews

José Corona

José Corona is Chief Executive Officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA), a position he has held since 2004. ICA is a nonprofit technical assistance group that helps build sustainable and responsible businesses that create quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to building a strong and vibrant local economy. Since its founding, ICA has helped to create and retain over 7,000 jobs in the Bay Area, creating or retaining 2,717 jobs in 2013 alone that pay an average hourly wage of $14.50 and generate over $68 million in total wealth for the local community.

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