The pain is real and mere words cannot adequately soothe these feelings. But now is the time for action, not just words. It is my hope that as we all honestly reflect on our history, we accept the weight of personal and moral responsibility to answer this call to action. We at LISC are reaffirmed in our work to create more equitable, healthy, and prosperous communities with and for residents. With this resolve, we will continue to confront racial inequality in our community:
- Cast an Economic Future Where All Thrive: LISC Virginia embraces inclusive economic development that prioritizes investments in human talent, especially for those who did not receive an equal education. More than ever, we must create pathways to healthy, stable, middle-class jobs. With our trusted neighborhood partners, we will retool our Financial Opportunity Centers to improve access to quality employment for families.
- Increase Access to Capital for Minority Businesses: LISC Virginia is committed to supporting minority entrepreneurship, ownership, career ladders, and sustained wealth generation. Minority small businesses are fundamental to a vibrant community, providing essential goods, services, and jobs. With local governments and nonprofits, we will increase access to resources for entrepreneurs of color, including providing small business grants and loans.
- Invest in Affordable Housing: LISC Virginia knows that access to a healthy, stable, and affordable home is the foundation for a fulfilling life. Yet housing segregation, discrimination, and blight predominately harm Black communities. With local organizations, we will provide more affordable housing, improve the quality of existing homes, and oppose predatory housing policies.
As LISC Virginia reflects upon its 30 years of investing in our community, we are embarking on a new Strategic Plan that will address the persistent racial equity gap in our neighborhoods and articulate a path toward economic inclusion and opportunity. As an organization, we are engaging in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion planning process to hold ourselves and our partners accountable to the values we hold dear.
The time has come to forge a future for Virginia that eradicates the racial wealth gap, addresses the root causes of housing discrimination and segregation, builds pathways of equitable economic opportunity, and unambiguously rejects social injustice and brutality of any kind. We are eager to partner with groups that align with LISC Virginia’s vision on the long road ahead.