Building High-Impact Nonprofits of Color in New Orleans and Miami

The outcome of last month's presidential election made clear that our work to serve communities of color has never been more important. It was thus fitting that one week after the presidential election, Prosperity Now's Racial Wealth Divide Initiative team was on the ground in New Orleans and Miami to meet with members of the first cohort of the Building High-Impact Nonprofits of Color project. The project, made possible thanks to generous support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., convenes leaders from New Orleans and Miami to build their capacity to better serve their local communities.

Our host when we traveled to New Orleans was the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities. While in Miami, we were hosted by Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center, whose mission is to empower, strengthen and stabilize South Florida's Haitian community through access to free services and resources.

The trainings provided in each city, titled Understanding the Power of Community Assets in Addressing the Racial Wealth Divide, explored how organizations of color can leverage their own strengths to boost financial stability in their communities in the context of deep racial wealth inequality. Each organization developed a community asset map to better identify resources to be leveraged in their community. Then, each leader identified someone from one of the other cohort organizations to be their coach through the end of the year. In this way, the nonprofits of color we're working with aren't just learning from Prosperity Now and from the experts we've partnered with to provide these trainings, but also from one another.

Last month's trainings mark the end of the first phase of the project. We look forward to launching the second phase in early 2017, including the kickoff of our second cohort of nonprofits of color with organizations in Baltimore and Chicago. Stay tuned!

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