Opportunity Finance Network recognizes Changing Perceptions for supporting citizens returning from incarceration with training and counseling programs to help create a successful transition.
Washington, D.C. – (October 17, 2023) – Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is proud to award Changing Perceptions, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, with the OFN Conference Justice Award. The award is presented each year to a nonprofit organization based in the conference location whose mission is consistent with OFN’s core purpose of aligning capital with social, economic, and political justice.
Changing Perceptions is paving a path of social, economic, and political justice for people with criminal justice backgrounds – or returning citizens – who are transitioning back into the workforce and their communities.
“Changing Perceptions exemplifies the core mission of CDFIs, and OFN is proud to present the nonprofit with this award,” said Seth Julyan, executive vice president of network services at Opportunity Finance Network. “Just as CDFIs see more than a credit score and deliver capital where it counts, Changing Perceptions sees more than a criminal justice background, supporting the successful transition of returning citizens back into DC neighborhoods and building thriving communities.”
Changing Perceptions’ mission is to help break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. In addition to workforce training and counseling programs, the organization supports participants in their journey to financial stability and independence through financial literacy courses and economic empowerment and wealth-building strategies.
“Receiving the Justice Award is a testament to our unwavering commitment to justice and community development,” said Monte Pollard, executive director of Changing Perceptions. “We believe in the power of capital to drive meaningful change and create lasting impact.”
The award was presented today at OFN’s annual conference, the largest industry event in the country. The award comes with a monetary donation, made on behalf of OFN conference attendees, with $5 of each paid conference registration and the total proceeds from the conference’s Justice Fun Run making up the grant award.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the leading national network of community development financial institutions. Its membership of more than 400 mission lenders specializes in providing affordable, responsible financial products and services in low-income rural, urban, and Native communities nationwide. As a trusted intermediary between CDFIs and the public and private sectors, OFN works with its partners – banks, philanthropies, corporations, government agencies and others – to create economic opportunity for all by strengthening and investing in CDFIs. Since its founding in 1986 and through 2021, the network has originated $100.4 billion in financing in rural, urban, and Native communities, helping to create or maintain more than 2.6 million jobs, start or expand more than 696,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of more than 2.3 million housing units and more than 13,600 community facility projects.