City First celebrated its 25th Anniversary on December 7 with an afternoon forum titled The Future of Urban Resilience followed by an evening Resilience Awards event. The forum was the fourth in a series of Impact Forums City First hosted in 2018. The Resilience Awards capped off the evening with a ceremony to recognize the collective work and impact of community-focused investments in small businesses and nonprofits who have strengthened Washington, D.C.
In Mensah’s welcome remarks, she celebrated the long-time work and influence of City First, saying, “City First has deployed $1.2 Billion over the last 25 years! Their lending keeps this city vibrant and helps to tackle unemployment and poverty."
She added, “We also tip our hat to City First as a thought leader—they were there in the early days of community development banking. When City First was first certified there were less than 20 other CDFI banks who had earned that distinction. Today there are 135 CDFI Banks and growing. It’s also important to call out City First as one of the 10 original founding banks that started the Community Development Bankers Association or CDBA.”
The Resilience Awards are a way to acknowledge the work and spirit of resilience of City First and their partners in both good and bad times. Mensah said, “City First and their partners continue to preserve and strengthen communities in and around the city. Especially east of the river. Because of City First and their partners people can build lives for themselves.”
She added, “The awardees tonight work in communities and with people who would be fighting against even greater odds if they were not there to make a difference. These Resilience awardees make an impact in profound ways—their impact shines so brightly and uplifts us all.”
You can see the full forum and Resilience Awards from the 25th Celebration, which livestreamed on Facebook, here.