Joining OFN in early 2019 as chief lending and investment officer, Amir Kirkwood recently spoke with Bluestone Life, a Vermont-based life insurance company and certified B Corporation, about his work with CDFIs and what brought him to the field, the launch of the new Finance Justice Fund, his reflections on 2020, and more.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Q: 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year, and one that shined the light on economic and social justice. What are you reflecting on as we begin 2021 and look to the future?
A: How quickly the economy, our public health environment, and issues of social justice went south and how important it was that CDFIs came together to find solutions and mitigate risk as much as possible. OFN launched the Finance Justice Fund, a $1 billion effort to raise capital for CDFIs — Twitter was our first investor. We know that when extreme economic and social events happen, recovery is slowest in the poorest, most underappreciated, and underestimated communities. OFN wants our member CDFIs to have the resources they need on the ground, and CDFIs are going to need to borrow and then recycle that money multiple times in a ten-year period for the recovery to occur.”
Read the full interview.