NCRC launches $5 million Field Empowerment Fund to support nonprofits and CDFIs that promote wealth in traditionally underserved communities

Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) announced a new $5 million grant program funded by Morgan Stanley to help its member organizations recover and rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Field Empowerment Fund (FEF) will supply grants ranging in amount from $50,000 to $250,000 for a one-year period with the goal of scaling up innovative investments that promote wealth in traditionally underserved communities.

“Our member organizations are the lifeblood of the work we do to fight for a more just economy,” said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC. “They are working on the frontlines of communities most in need all across the country. They understand the urgency of helping communities rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and they know the best way to do it. NCRC has always supported our members in many ways, but this fund gives us a new opportunity to engage and support them in one of the most meaningful ways – providing direct funds for their innovative programs.”

Awardees must be current NCRC members and be able to prove that they are either a 501(c)(3) organization or a U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund certified CDFI. Selection criteria focuses on organizations that: 

  • Operate in markets that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic
  • Are led by people of color and/or women
  • Serve low-income and low-wealth communities, and communities of color
  • Increase access to affordable housing and homeownership
  • Serve small businesses and micro-businesses.

All applications are to be submitted online no later than 11:59 pm ET on February 19, 2021.

For more information and to submit an application, visit: www.ncrc.org/fef/



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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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