December 10, 2015. Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) is pleased to announce three new loan investments this quarter, recommended by the Community Investment Committee and approved by the Congregation’s General Council.
The PAB has granted a loan to the Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF) to help capitalize the fund, which is invested in projects that provide housing and other opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the United States. Based in Albertson, New York, the DOF loans money to real estate developers, communities, and organizations serving the disabilities market, and to any group that helps to create access to housing, schools, or other projects for people with disabilities. Founded by veteran finance professionals, the DOF provides capital and advisory services to its clients.
The PAB’s latest loan to First Nations Oweesta Corporation will enable the Longmont, Colorado-based organization to invest in Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Oweesta is the only Native CDFI intermediary, offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. Oweesta works with indigenous peoples living in some of the most rural locations in the United States, including American Indian Reservations, traditional Native lands, Hawaiian homelands and Alaska Native villages.
“Specifically, Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy, helping Native communities to develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and financial products,” according to the organization’s website.
PeopleFund, based in Austin, Texas, creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and resources to build healthy small businesses. The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ loan, along with investments from other funders, will be used as lending capital across Texas to support underserved small business startups and nonprofits, specifically those run by women, veterans, minorities, and low-income populations.
“Our goal is to give people the opportunity to turn their talents into a sustainable livelihood and achieve financial stability for themselves and their families,” according to PeopleFund’s website. “We inspire, educate, fund, and elevate clients on the path to prosperity and the American Dream.” PeopleFund offers financial products, business education, and tailored, one-on-one mentoring to entrepreneurs normally left out of the financial mainstream.
Community investments is one aspect of the work of the PAB. The Board, now in its 40th year, also engages in corporate responsibility work. The PAB monitors the Congregation’s investments and, through such means as shareholder resolutions, holds the corporations accountable in such areas as social justice, environmental sustainability, and fair labor practices.
November 19, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – In response to recent terrorist attacks and the reaction of some Americans in favor of closing U.S. borders to refugees, the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters has issued the following statement:
The Adrian Dominican Sisters, a U.S. Congregation of 700 women religious, condemn unequivocally the recent terrorist attacks that have taken place in Nigeria, Baghdad, Egypt, Beirut and, most recently, Paris.
Pope Francis, speaking of the terrorist attack in Paris, stated, “There is no religious or human justification for these things.” President Obama characterized it as “an attack on all humanity.”
More than ever, these times call for global solidarity and a resistance to the instinct to respond to the violence with more violence. As Pope Francis has stated, “the path of violence and hatred doesn’t solve the problems of humanity.”
We Adrian Dominican Sisters pray for all the victims of terrorist violence and their families. We stand in solidarity with our peace loving Muslim brothers and sisters. Fear and anger against ISIS and other terrorist groups must not be directed against Muslims. We also stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and terror. As President Obama stated, “We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”
We call on all governmental officials to welcome Syrian and other refugees fleeing terrorist violence and persecution.