A Message from our President & CEO, Lenwood V. Long, Sr.
Friends and Family of The Alliance,
It is with great pride that I present to you our first annual report, showcasing our work and impact in 2021. My sincere thanks to you for being a part of our incredible journey. Despite an extraordinarily challenging business environment, your dedication, generosity, and support helped us mark incredible achievements. We simply can’t say it enough: you are a huge factor in our accomplishments and future success.
Since the founding of the Alliance in 2018, we have worked on building the foundation of our work by being unapologetically aspirational for wanting the best for our communities. We believe in redesigning systems to benefit those who are most marginalized. Closing the racial wealth gap is at the root of what we do. To that end we have worked to elevate the great and impactful work that Black-led CDFIs are doing in their communities and addressing their barriers to success. In this annual report, you’ll see that we now count 64 members from across the nation – strong Black leaders working together to build powerful administrative, economic, and human resources in their communities. We received multiple grant awards from organizations who believe in the work that we do, helping us to build administrative capacity, member-centered programs, and economic resources for Black-led CDFIs. It goes without saying that the ability to attract resources on this level is a testament to the individual and collective power of our growing family. To help us design an actionable path forward, our board, members, staff, and other invested stakeholders, underwent a 14-month intensive process to develop our three-year strategic plan. This year we launched the strategic plan to prioritize and center the needs of Black communities in our work. Our goal is to build a future where Black-led CDFIs are resource-rich and unrestricted in their ability to be catalysts for economic mobility, prosperity, and wealth building for Black families and communities. Rooted in an analysis of the nature and impact of economic exclusion of Black-led CDFIs, Black families and Black communities, and the multitude of interventions required to close the racial wealth gap, we are guided by three pillars: Building Capacity, Building Bridges, and Building Power, which we will highlight in more depth through this report. We’d like to thank you again for all that you are and all that you contribute. With your invaluable input, we will outperform expectations this year, building capacity, competitive skills, and empowerment bridges, for a better future.
Lenwood V. Long, Sr.
President & CEO, The Alliance