For Immediate Release
March 27, 2023
The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs Welcomes Opportunity Finance Network to the Community Builders of Color Coalition
Opportunity Finance Network Joins 15-Member Coalition Dedicated to Urging the EPA to Prioritize Equity in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
ORLANDO, FL – The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) is proud to announce that Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) has joined the Community Builders of Color Coalition (The Coalition). Together, these organizations will fight for equity in the EPA’s administration of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), advocating that at least 40% of awarded capital benefit disadvantaged communities, mainly minority and low-income populations that have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.
The GGRF is a first-of-its-kind program that will provide competitive grants to mobilize financing and private capital for clean energy and climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Coalition will play a crucial role in advocating for equitable access and effective implementation of GHGRF in underserved communities.
“The Coalition is uniquely positioned to leverage the expertise of multiple organizations devoted to ensuring the greatest possible impact in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President and CEO of The Alliance. “OFN’s commitment to economic justice and advancing financial inclusion in underserved communities aligns with our mission, and we are thrilled to have them join.”
“We cannot squander this opportunity to unite economic justice and environmental justice,” said Beth Lipson, OFN Interim President and CEO. “OFN is pleased to join this coalition of allied organizations to advocate for equity in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.”
The growth of The Coalition is and will be vital to amplifying the voices of community financial institutions, such as CDFIs, MDIs, credit unions, and mission focused loan funds, and the communities they serve.
To date, The Coalition is comprised of 15 organizations including: African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, African-American Credit Union Coalition, The Chisholm Legacy Project, Community Development Bankers Association, Inclusiv, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Urban League, National Bankers Association, Native CDFI Network, National CAPACD, Prosperity Now, Oweesta Corporation, Opportunity Finance Network, US Black Chamber, and Urban Strategies, Inc.
To learn more about The Coalition and the Alliance’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund advocacy efforts, please visit www.aaacdfi.org/greenhouse-gas-reduction-fund/.
About The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs
The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) is a coalition of more than 75 CEOs of Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), comprising loan funds, credit unions, venture capital firms, and non-profit developers. Since 2018, The Alliance’s network collectively services all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a result, members are uniquely positioned to address issues related to housing and access to capital for African American populations and communities. Learn more about The Alliance and its programs at http://www.aaacdfi.org.
About Opportunity Finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a leading national network of more than 370 community development financial institutions (CDFIs), specialized lenders that provide 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 2020, the network has originated $91.2 billion in financing in rural, urban, and Native communities, helping to create or maintain more than 2.2 million jobs, start or expand 535,550 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of more than 2.2 million housing units and more than 13,270 community facility projects. Learn more about OFN and its programs at ofn.org.
The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOS
[email protected] / 901-849-0820
Opportunity Finance Network
[email protected] / 202-516-8238