From May 8 to 10, the first meeting of the 2018 class of Opportunity Fellows was held in Birmingham, AL, marking the start of a six-month program for 27 emerging, mid-career and executive leaders (representing 25 CDFIs across the country) committed to ensuring equitable investment in underserved and disenfranchised communities. Launched in 2017 with generous support from BBVA Compass, the Opportunity Fellows Program is an innovative leadership program designed to challenge CDFI leaders to foster greater diversity and inclusion in their CDFIs and the CDFI industry with the goal of promoting greater equity (particularly racial equity) in lending and technical assistance services.
During this first meeting, Fellows toured the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, underwent intensive training from the Race Matters Institute on infusing racial equity into organizations, and engaged in thoughtful discussions with CDFI industry leaders, community leaders in Birmingham and experts in management and leadership from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and BBVA Compass. Over the summer, Fellows will work together in groups to develop actionable strategies for leading organizational and systemic change for greater equity. Fellows will also travel to Birmingham to meet again in September. The Program concludes at the OFN Conference in October where Fellows will present their strategies.
Check out the photo album on Facebook to see our Opportunity Fellows at work.