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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.
December 14, 2015, Paris, France – As the UN Summit on Global Climate Change neared completion, the public Climate Generations Space was the forum for discussion of numerous social justice issues related to the environment. This includes the systemic racism that leads to many African-American communities being on the “frontline” of environmental degradation. Other groups offered community-based solutions to climate change. See the latest article in Global Sisters Report by Sister Elise D. García, OP.
Feature photo: Mercy Sr. Áine O'Conner, coordinator of Mercy Global Action at the United Nations, spoke at a demonstration against fracking. (GSR Photo/Elise D. Garcia)