The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism continue to impact our communities and exacerbate existing inequities in wealth, health care, education, and many other areas of life. The issues that face our communities today are significant and complex, and they require creative, integrated, and community-led solutions.
For the past few years, a group of grassroots community organizations have been developing solutions together to build community wealth through entrepreneurship and business development in communities of color and have been organizing policy campaigns to create a more inclusive economy. The collaboration and organized strategy of these groups demonstrate that the best solutions to complex social issues reside with those who are most directly impacted. This powerful network of organizations—Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Communities for a Better Environment, Oakland Rising, Restaurant Opportunities Center, and Restore Oakland—created and govern the REAL People’s Fund, a democratically governed and community-controlled integrated capital fund investing in entrepreneurs of color with a strong social mission in the East Bay, CA. This effort has taken on increased relevance during these times! Black, indigenous, and people of color owned small businesses are critical drivers of job and wealth creation in communities of color, and they have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic recession.
In this workshop, you will hear directly from community leaders about how they are creating community ownership, working to close the racial wealth gap, and directing how resources are invested in their communities. Participants will also engage in interactive discussion about how to advance community led solutions in their own communities.