February 2, 2021
Feb 02

TODAY: President Clinton to host “The Power of CDFIs for an Inclusive Economic Recovery,” followed by live discussions with financial industry and community leaders

New York, NY
Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2021

Contact: [email protected]



TODAY:  President Clinton to host “The Power of CDFIs for an Inclusive Economic Recovery,” followed by live discussions with financial industry and community leaders


The opening plenary will feature Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Donna Gambrell, Tawney Brunsch, and Dr. Rajiv Shah on the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions as avenues to build a more inclusive and equitable economy


New York, NY – Today, February 2, President Bill Clinton will host the third installment of “Building an Inclusive Recovery,” a Clinton Foundation series to address racial and economic disparities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


This virtual event, with support from the Ludwig Family Foundation, will feature Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, State of New Mexico; Tawney Brunsch, executive director, Lakota Funds; Donna Gambrell, president & CEO, Appalachian Community Capital; and Dr. Rajiv Shah, president, Rockefeller Foundation.


11:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Main Session: The Power of Community Development Financial Institutions for Today’s Inclusive Economic Recovery


This pre-recorded event will be streamed via live.clintonfoundation.org/cdfi


Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) often serve as a bridge between low-income communities, economic resources, and access to capital. This is more evident and important following the events of 2020 with corporations, philanthropists, and government institutions further recognizing the power of these community lenders to accelerate a much-needed economic recovery. With unprecedented financial support in 2020, including $12 billion in federal aid through the Cares Act, the CDFI industry will be at the forefront of the much-needed work to address the issues of economic equity and inclusion that have stymied community and small business growth especially in Black, Latino, and Native American communities across the US.


Please join President Bill Clinton in this virtual event as leaders identify ways to deploy more capital, build innovative products and services, and educate investors and borrowers alike. These actions will support the CDFI industry so that it can continue to make meaningful strides to close America’s longest-standing wealth and opportunity gaps while powering an inclusive economic recovery.


12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.: Live Breakout I: Environmental Justice, Financial Recovery, and Rural Communities


To cover this session, please email [email protected].


Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have emerged as critical partners that can work closely with businesses addressing not only operational and workforce challenges, but environmental challenges as well. With additional investment and financial support, environmentally and socially responsible small businesses and community organizations can contribute to creating a more inclusive economy by building wealth, good jobs, and skill sets that also support an environmentally sustainable future. CDFI’s provide much-needed access to capital for rural and agricultural businesses that might be undercapitalized and lack traditional lines of funding. Through investments in small businesses, CDFIs are able to make a concentrated effort to support environmental justice in communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. In this session, speakers will discuss how CDFI’s can support combating environmental and climate-related inequities by investing in businesses working to make a positive impact on rural, minority, and low-wealth communities.


Opening Remarks – Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland, California

Panel Discussion – Climate Friendly Financing

  • Keith Bisson, President, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (MODERATOR)
  • Jennifer Curtis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Firsthand Foods
  • Neda Arabshahi, Director, Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy
  • Hannah Vargason, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, Natural Capital Investment Fund
  • Nikki Pieratos, NDN Fund Managing Director, NDN Collective

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Live Breakout II: Leading Community Development by Building Community Wealth


To cover this session, please email [email protected].


The economic inequities that exist nationwide are a historic reality and continue to be a modern-day problem. Between 1990 and 2010, income inequality across neighborhoods increased in more than 75 percent of regions, and of the neighborhoods in the lowest 20 percent of median income in 2000, more than 75 percent remained in that position by 2010. CDFIs are playing a role in addressing this problem and increasing long-term community wealth building by providing investments that produce sustainable economic growth, and increased equity in local economies. Community wealth building focuses on upgrading skills, growing entrepreneurs, increasing incomes, and building assets in a community in order to create sustainable economic development. This approach can help to address the widening wealth inequality which is essential to helping underserved communities develop their full potential. In this session, speakers will discuss ways in which CDFIs are playing a greater role in community wealth building efforts in particular, and discuss how CDFIs can help neighborhoods access the capital needed to not only build but maintain community wealth.


Opening Remarks – Fagan Harris, President & Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore Corps

Panel Discussion – Innovative Solutions to Build Community Wealth

  • Angela Carlberg, Project Manager, Racial Equity and the Democratic Economy, The Democracy Collaborative (MODERATOR)
  • Matt Dunne, Founder & Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation
  • Maurice Williams, Vice President of Economic Development, Chicago Community Loan Fund
  • Markiea Carter, Economic Development Director, City of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Luis Pastor, President & Chief Executive Officer, Latino Community Credit Union


4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.: Live Breakout III: Providing Financial Services for Underserved Communities


To cover this session, please email [email protected].


The rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program in 2020 highlighted the ongoing challenges that minority-owned businesses face in receiving loans from large banks. Roughly 95 percent of Black-owned businesses, 91 percent of Latino-owned businesses, 91 percent of Native-owned businesses face limited access to these loans.  Driving investment to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in historically marginalized communities allows them to directly address their most pressing needs by providing integral access to capital and support for businesses and individuals. In this session, speakers will discuss the different roles that CDFIs and MDIs play by providing financial services, access to capital, and small business support by utilizing their ties to and status in underserved communities to address their specific needs.


Opening Remarks – James Robinson, Manager, Clinton Global Initiative

Panel Discussion – Financial Institutions Supporting Small Business

  • Marla Blow, Senior Vice President of Social Impact, North America, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth (MODERATOR)
  • Ted Archer, Executive Director, Small Business & Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase
  • Richard Romero, President & Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Credit Union

Audience Q&A

Panel Discussion – The Future of CDFIs for Underserved Communities

  • Inez Long, President & Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Investment Fund (MODERATOR)
  • Della Clark, President, The Enterprise Center
  • Ellis Carr, President & Chief Executive Officer, Capital Impact Partners


Under the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action model, these meetings provide a platform for the cultivation of new, specific, and measurable projects promoting an inclusive economic recovery. Each virtual event in this series highlights approaches ready to be scaled or replicated. Following these events, Clinton Foundation staff continue to bring people together and host additional conversations among partners to help facilitate action and drive additional impact.


The Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act established the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) – a part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury – and was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. Today, with the help of the CDFI Fund, a thriving financial services sector has been established with the unique purpose of meeting the needs of underserved communities across the United States.


The Clinton Foundation and President Clinton launched this series of events to advance inclusive economic recovery and help to tell the stories of the important work being done, as well as the significant challenges that we still need to collectively address. This series features conversations designed to create actionable results and spotlight the people, ideas, and businesses that are pioneering solutions to create more equitable wealth opportunities in the United States.





About the Clinton Foundation


Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.


As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.


We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.


Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.