Planning for this year’s OFN Conference in Chicago (our 34th!) is well underway. The OFN Conference attracts more than 1,500 CDFIs of all types, sizes, and stages of development, CDFI investors and funders, consultants, researchers, and service providers.

This year’s theme, “CDFIs: Agents of Change,” will highlight lessons learned from our CDFI history, best practices for creating lasting change, and ideas to explore our future potential. Despite the persistent challenges in our communities—broadening wage and wealth gaps, a lack of affordable housing and quality jobs, food deserts and more—CDFIs continue to make progress and have an enduring impact. We are the agents of change that transform challenges into opportunities.

“Being agents of change—and challenging the status quo—is a part of our DNA,” points out Donna Fabiani, OFN’s Executive Vice President of Knowledge Sharing, whose team is responsible for planning the Conference and its curriculum. “It’s been that way since the beginning. Our roots in the civil rights movement and passion for aligning investments with our social justice values is as relevant today as it was 30 years ago.”

The OFN Conference is the single largest gathering in the CDFI industry. It features dozens of networking opportunities and practitioner-driven sessions cutting across many different subject areas of importance to CDFIs.

“How fitting that this year’s Conference is being held in Chicago, an early epicenter of the community development finance movement,” Donna adds. “I hope all in the industry can join us as we celebrate our industry, recognize the lasting impact CDFIs have had, and share ideas and proven strategies for ongoing success.”

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