Episode 09 – Journeying toward Racial Equity

Impact lenders serving low-income communities are often working to mitigate the consequences of structural racism–but race is rarely brought to the forefront of discussions in the industry.  Living Cities decided that it wanted to change that, and has embarked on a years long journey to get things right internally as they simultaneously seek to explicitly address issues of race and racism in their work.  Listen to Episode 09 below or on iTunes to hear two Living Cities staff members discuss why this internal soul searching is necessary, how they’ve done it, and how it is impacting the important work they are doing.  Use the hashtag #Care4Results to share your thoughts on this episode and Living Cities’ work.

Today’s Guests:

Elodie Baquerot is Chief Operating Officer of Living Cities. She leads organization-wide operations and strategic planning to make Living Cities’ strategic vision as a racial economic justice organization a reality.  In this role, she oversees the implementation of a results-oriented approach to closing racial income and wealth gaps, and oversees systems and organizational infrastructure, talent and organizational development strategies, and the building and maintenance of a fully inclusive culture where everyone can thrive.  Elodie joined Living Cities in 2011 after serving as a presidential appointee in Secretary Shaun Donovan’s Office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Elodie is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics.

Brian Nagendra is Assistant Director of the Catalyst Funds, a domestic impact investment vehicle that deploys concessionary, flexible debt from socially motivated investors.  Brian supports Living Cities’ Capital Innovation team on portfolio management and due diligence work for impact investments.  Previously, Brian led deal development, underwriting, structuring, portfolio management and fundraising for City First Enterprises Impact Investing Fund, and he has also worked in affordable housing at The Community Builders and in policy at the Brookings Metroplotan Policy Center Urban Markets Initiative.  Brian has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Resources Related to This Episode:

Living Cities: www.livingcities.org

Conversations about Racial Equity – Living Cities’ multi-media report on this initiation: medium.com/c-a-r-e

Blog on Living Cities New Race-Focused Investment Strategy: www.livingcities.org/blog

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond – Undoing Racism Workshops: www.pisab.org

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