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Community Wise: A LISC Podcast
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Community Wise: A LISC Podcast

Author: LISC

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The Community Wise Podcast is a regular conversation between LISC staff and practitioners and thought leaders from across the worlds of community development, social enterprise and social justice.
30 Episodes
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For our latest Community Wise podcast, LISC COO Annie Donovan caught up with Gregory B. Fairchild, the Isidore Horween Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and a member of LISC's national board of directors.Fairchild recently published "Emerging Domestic Markets: How Financial Entrepreneurs Reach Underserved Communities in the United States," an investigation of new models that local entrepreneurs are using to promote inclusive economic development in long-underinvested American places. In the podcast, he discusses how the book, which combines history, social psychology and behavioral economics among other disciplines, also reflects the very personal story of his family's past and his own journey as an academic working on behalf of social justice.
In our most recent podcast, which honors two of the most oft-invoked figures of African American history, Maurice A. Jones speaks with Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass, and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. Morris co-founded the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), an anti-racist and abolitionist education organization whose mission is to build strong children and end systems of exploitation and oppression. Erica Mock, the group’s VP of strategic partnerships, joins this fascinating and personal conversation about the origins and work of FDFI and the future of social justice work in America.
This month, Maurice is joined by Connie Lewin, Director of Individual Philanthropy, to discuss the launch of Project 10X, LISC’s initiative to upend the racial health, wealth and opportunity gaps that keep tens of millions of Americans from sharing in our country’s prosperity and realizing their personal potential. 
A roundtable discussion with LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones and Verizon’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Rose Stuckey Kirk, moderated by LISC board member and UVA business professor Greg Fairchild, delves into what it will take to get to economic equity for our country.
In this episode, Maurice interviews Paul Taylor, director of the RVA League for Safer Streets in Richmond, Virginia. The League was founded in 2017 by Paul, and the late Jawad Abdu, both returning citizens, to address issues of gang violence in their communities. Before stepping foot on a court, participants attend workshops on problem solving, critical thinking and conflict resolution. In this powerful conversation, Paul shares stories of transformation–of individuals working together to forge opportunities that change lives and heal communities. This episode is not to be missed.
In the first episode of 2020, Maurice speaks with LISC COO Annie Donovan about her journey before coming to LISC, lessons learned from community development finance and the continuous success of the CDFI model.  Annie also reflects on her experience as interim leader of LISC’s Bay Area office and work being done there around homelessness, income inequality, racial equity, and displacement with an eye on the year ahead.
In the final episode of 2019, Maurice calls in from Puerto Rico where he is celebrating an exciting initiative, Play Ball Again. In partnership with Marc Anthony’s Maestro Cares Foundation, Bad Bunny’s Good Bunny Foundation, Cubs Charities and Javier Báez, as well as local officials and families, LISC celebrated the opening of a renovated baseball field at Parque de la Comunidad La Ceiba in Loíza, which was demolished by hurricanes in 2017. Play Ball Again aims to restore up to 25 athletic fields and related facilities that will serve 17,500 youth across the island.Following the discussion of Play Ball Again, Maurice reflects on 2019, the year ahead and the goal we are all tasked with…to make the impossible possible. Thanks for another great year and we hope you will tune in in January!
Do Words Matter?

Do Words Matter?

2019-11-2022:05

In this episode, Maurice is joined by Esther Udehi, a member of LISC’s Emerging Leaders Council and a PhD candidate at the Wharton School. Esther and Maurice discuss how language choices affect our interactions with people and the communities where we work. By putting personhood before circumstance and choosing words that do not further stigmatize, we can bring about real change and support greater inclusion.
The Power of a Story

The Power of a Story

2019-09-2621:19

This month, Maurice sits down with Tope Folarin, LISC’s vice president of storytelling and content and the author of A Particular Kind of Black Man. Listen in to hear how Folarin’s youth and education inspired a career dedicated to storytelling, why sharing stories is so critical to the work of LISC, and how it all connects to his debut novel.
San Antonio, TX councilmember Roberto Treviño joins Maurice and Imani Darden to discuss energy efficiency and affordable housing sustainability. LISC launched its San Antonio office in 2016, the same year Councilman Treviño launched Under 1 Roof, a no-cost, needs-based program to retrofit the roofs of qualified residents. We are pleased to have a local official with us to share more about the conjoining of community, local politics, energy efficiency and housing stabilization.  
The Color of Money

The Color of Money

2019-05-2126:39

This month Mehrsa Baradaran, author of The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap and associate dean of strategic initiatives at the University of Georgia School of Law, joined Maurice A. Jones and Imani Darden from our Knowledge Management team to discuss the history of the racial wealth gap and its impact on economic prosperity for communities of color. The conversation explores the viability of entrepreneurship and business ownership in the context of this history and the role of the industry at large in pushing for economic justice. And you can take a look at Mehrsa’s feature in the PBS documentary “Blacks in Business” here. 
The Color of Law

The Color of Law

2019-04-2517:42

We are back this month with Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow, emeritus, at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP. In this episode, we delve into the historical context for the work LISC does, through the prism of the book’s major theme: residential racial segregation, which was enforced via federal and local law and policy though much of the 20th century. We explore ways to redress the ills of housing segregation, including the role public and private sectors can play. Richard also gives a glimpse into the next phase of his work, sharing strategies for building a new civil rights movement to remedy these injustices. To our minds, The Color of Law should be required reading in classrooms and workplaces across the country.
Maurice joined the Rail~Volution podcast to talk about LISC’s approach to catalyzing opportunity in the places we work. Covering everything from Opportunity Zones and the Partnership for the Bay’s housing fund, to how health and transit intersect, the conversation highlights how intentional investment is key to transformation.Learn more about the Rail~Volution podcast here. 
Racial Equity

Racial Equity

2019-02-2623:53

As we celebrate Black History Month, we're reflecting on the present and future of the community development sector—with a focus on racial equity.Joining Maurice and Morgan this month is Michael McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink and a dynamic leader advancing the work of racial equity. McAfee discusses the fundamental role race continues to play in structuring outcomes for communities of color. The conversation explores the ways we can be purposeful in bringing a racial equity lens to community development work, with and on behalf of communities across America. More information on PolicyLink’s work be found here. Check out LISC Institute’s compilation of racial equity resources here.
We are kicking off 2019 with the launch of a new multi-sector fund, The Partnership for the Bay’s Future - a collaborative regional investment and policy effort to respond to housing needs and support vibrant communities of racial and economic inclusion across the Bay Area. Hear more about its launch and the coalition efforts it took to bring these funds about, from Maurice A. Jones, Morgan Harper and LISC Bay Area’s Executive Director, Cynthia Wong.
As we close out 2018, we are pleased to feature Captain Dean Isabella of the Providence Police Department in conversation with Maurice. Isabella is a longtime partner of LISC’s Safety & Justice program and a tireless advocate for a community-oriented approach to policing. He shares his insight into the benefits of police-resident partnerships and the imperative of a holistic strategy for crime reduction and nurturing safe neighborhoods.
Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones

2018-11-0623:18

Federal policy plays a huge role in community development efforts and no federal policy has been a hotter topic this year than Opportunity Zones. For this podcast, we have special guest Lisa Hall—a Senior Fellow at the Beeck Center at Georgetown University focusing on the inclusive economy—who has been on the forefront of thinking about how this new incentive will impact local communities.
As we reflect on LISC at 40 we will be integrating local and national thought leadership on the broader work ahead. For this podcast, we highlight the richness culture plays in moving a local agenda forward. Joining us this month is LISC San Diego’s Executive Director, Ricardo Flores. Hear about LISC San Diego’s cultural preservation strategy and the ways local community assets can be instrumental in coordinating policy efforts.
Inclusive Economies

Inclusive Economies

2018-09-1217:00

We’re back! Tune in to this month’s podcast to hear a reflection on how we can best pursue inclusive economic growth by leveraging the assets of communities of color and low-income communities across the country. Special guest Andre Perry from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program joins Maurice and Morgan to share his perspective on a strategy for highlighting these strengths drawing on his research and work in majority-Black cities. Look out for future special guests in the coming months, as we reflect back and forge ahead as LISC turns 40.
Zombie Homes, Part 2

Zombie Homes, Part 2

2018-06-2615:44

In part 2 of the discussion on Zombie homes, Maurice Jones, Helene Caloir and Morgan Harper delve deeper into the world of Zombie and vacant properties and suggest successful ways to bring these properties back to life to revitalize communities. And the best part is … it can be done!
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