OFN CEO Lisa Mensah Shares Insights on Racial Diversity in Community Development Leadership

Recently OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah shared her perspectives with nonprofit publication Shelterforce about the past, present, and future of community development and the work of CDFIs, particularly as it relates to racial diversity among industry leaders.

“…Personally, I don’t start from a position of thinking that the status quo is good or is impervious to change. I think in some ways it’s a kind of advantage to [have] always had to fight against the tide. People always said no. And to me, that’s kind of a fit with a field that’s had to be more scrappy, and to say we are going to make loans in rural areas [and] persistently poor urban areas that people have written off,” Lisa stated regarding the role CDFIs play in dispelling myths about low-income communities and communities of color.

Joining Lisa for the conversation were Priya Jayachandran of The National Housing Trust; Tony Pickett of Grounded Solutions; Lisa Rice of the National Fair Housing Alliance; and Akilah Watkins-Butler of the Center for Community Progress.

Read the article here.