Our Opening Plenary panel, Closing the Gap in Communities Left Behind, provided a rousing, in-depth conversation that explored what it will take for CDFIs to generate macro-level impact in our nation’s most economically challenged areas. The Plenary was moderated by former Chair and CEO of Carver Bancorp, Debbie Wright, and the panel was comprised of Nancy Andrews of LIIF, Bill Bynum of Hope Enterprise Corporation, and Tom De Simone of Genesis LA.
The panelists emphasized diverse ideas about closing the gap. Bill Bynum pointed out, “because we (CDFIs) are on the ground, because we know the people…we connect the dots between Wall Street and places like Moorehead, Mississippi.” Nancy Andrews challenged the CDFI industry to think about the paradox of investing in a neighborhood when that investment may ultimately lead to displacement, saying “it’s not good enough just to do an investment. We have to think about the long game…and we have to figure out ways of building an inclusive economy in that first step.”
We’ve captured some of the best moments of the 2017 OFN Conference online! See video highlights and access session materials on the OFN Conference Recap page, including remarks by Dan Letendre of Bank of America, who called OFN Conference “the place to be!” and the Twelfth Annual Native CDFI Awards.