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.

New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA)

Established in 2010, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) aims to unite a diverse community of stakeholders to catalyze job growth, create wealth, and build an equitable and sustainable economic future for New Orleans.  As a public-private partnership between the city and private investors from the local community, the nonprofit organization is led by a 17-member board of directors, composed of a cross section of New Orleans leaders, including the Mayor and representatives of diverse industries.  Guided by its 2013 Prosperity NOLA report, a comprehensive development plan designed to Read more about New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA)...

Tulane City Center

Tulane City Center engages Tulane School of Architecture faculty and students to find design solutions to problems identified by nonprofit and community groups that are under-served by the planning and architecture field.  The group has helped support 80 architectural, planning, historic renovation, and organizational capacity building projects across the New Orleans region.  Over the next several years, the Center plans to focus its work in the Central City area, where, in 2014, it built and moved into a new office space that also includes areas to host community events, meetings, and exh Read more about Tulane City Center...

New Orleans Lot Maintenance Program

Launched in 2013 and expanded in August 2014, Mayor Mitchell Landrieu’s Lot Maintenance Program aims to eliminate blighted properties while creating employment opportunities for neighborhood residents.  To do so, the program has partnered with Covenant House’s White Dove Landscaping program, a social enterprise that will train at-risk youth and other hard-to-employ populations to clean up about 100 overgrown lots a month.  As of September 2014, the program cleared 1,000 lots and aimed to complete 9,000 grass cuttings over the next year. Read more about New Orleans Lot Maintenance Program...

New Orleans Economic Opportunity Strategy

Launched in September 2014, Mayor Mitchell Landrieu’s Economic Opportunity Strategy aims to recruit, train and connect the city’s hardest to employ residents to jobs and match local businesses to opportunities for growth.  The strategy hinges on leveraging the city’s anchor institutions: the City plans to establish a collaborative of local anchor institutions committed to expanding economic opportunity, form a workforce intermediary that connects disadvantaged job seekers to employment opportunities through anchor institutions, create a procurement intermediary that connects businesses to Read more about New Orleans Economic Opportunity Strategy...

The Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI)

Launched in 2011 in partnership with Hope Credit Union in response to the lack of fresh, healthy foods in many New Orleans neighborhoods, The Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI) is a $14 million citywide program to encourage supermarket and grocery store development in low-income, underserved communities.  By providing low-cost financing for capital, real estate and related expenses, FFRI aims to enable operators to open, renovate, or expand retail outlets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more about The Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI)...

Ride New Orleans

Ride New Orleans aims to enhance the quality of life in the New Orleans region by promoting safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options.  Current work includes catalyzing a grassroots organizing and advocacy campaign to improve the CBD Transit Hub, an intersection through which 5,000-7,000 transit riders pass through on a daily basis.  In terms of transit-oriented development (TOD), the organization advocates for increased density around transit stops, walkable streets, a vibrant mix of residential and commercial land uses, and zoning that promotes affordable, TOD around the ci Read more about Ride New Orleans...

Liberty’s Kitchen

Liberty’s Kitchen is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of New Orleans youth by providing a path to self-sufficiency through food service-based training, leadership, and work-readiness programs.  The nonprofit’s training program targets at-risk youth age 16-24 who are out of school and work, and combines hands-on food service training with classroom instruction, individual case management, job placement services, and follow-up support. Read more about Liberty’s Kitchen...

New Orleans Start-up Fund

The New Orleans Startup Fund (The Startup Fund) is a nonprofit seed fund formed to accelerate the growth of early-stage, innovative New Orleans area businesses into venture-ready companies, and thus, create jobs and economic prosperity for New Orleans.  Established by area business and financial leaders, The Startup Fund has initial commitments of more than $5 million, from which it invests between $25,000 and $100,000 in businesses located in the Greater New Orleans area. Read more about New Orleans Start-up Fund...

VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative

Established to provide sustainable economic opportunities in urban agriculture after community members lost their jobs following the BP oil spill, VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative is a community owned and operated farmer’s cooperative based out of New Orleans East.  The cooperative’s goals are three-fold:  1) to increase local food access, beginning in New Orleans East, 2) to create quality and sustainable jobs, and 3) to promote sustainable growing practices through the use of aquaponics.  Today, the cooperative includes local farmers and fisherfolk, who sell their products to residents and res Read more about VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative...


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

What is Community Wealth?

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

Community Wealth Cities

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee was incorporated in 1846. German immigrants, who came to Wisconsin in search of inexpensive farmland, fueled the city’s early growth. Over the following decades, Milwaukee attracted large groups of other immigrants, including Poles, Lithuanians, Italian, Irish, French, Russian, Bohemian, and Swedish. By 1910, Milwaukee ranked first in the nation, alongside New York City, for having the largest percentage of foreign-born residents. Read more about Milwaukee, Wisconsin...

Community Wealth Interviews

Ed Whitfield

Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ed’s political activism started with attending Little Rock Central High School and beginning to do anti-war work as a teenager. Ed has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina since 1970. In 2007, with Marnie Thompson, he helped co-found the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), a private foundation that aims to promote economic democracy and cooperative economics in the U.S. South. F4DC has pledged to spend down its endowment by 2020. Among its leading efforts are launching the Southern Grassroots Economies Project and supporting the development of the Renaissance Community Co-op in a food desert neighborhood in Greensboro. Ed also participates on numerous boards, including the New Economy Coalition and the Highlander Research and Education Center.


Featured from the toolbox

  • Community Capital

    In this new guide to community investment, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) identifies finance options and other investment tools to reinvigorate regional economies, create high-quality jobs, and restore the environment. BALLE offers this guide as a resource to help re-shape financial capital flows to support local self-sufficiency and ingenuity.

Subscribe to RSS