New Case Study Released: Empowerment Economics in Communities of Color
National CAPACD began 2022 with the release of Balance and Belonging: Empowerment Economics and Community Development at NAYA, the third in our series of Empowerment Economics case studies in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Racial Equity (IERE) at Brandeis University. The Empowerment Economics framework is a multigenerational and culturally-responsive approach to financial capability in low-income Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs) and other communities of color. This case study investigates Native American Youth and Family Center‘s (NAYA) approach to community development and asset-building through their Individual Development Account (IDA) program.
National CAPACD Advocates for Culturally Competent Housing Policies
In February, National CAPACD’s Executive Director Seema Agnani joined the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Table Talks series episode, Shaping Housing Policies and Practices to Support AANHPI Communities. She lifted up the importance of partnering with community-based organizations that are culturally and linguistically competent to address fair housing in our communities and more broadly. You can watch the episode below.
New Fair Housing PSAs Released in Partnership with HUD
National CAPACD celebrated Fair Housing Month in April by releasing a Fair Housing public service announcement (PSA) video with 20 local organizations to help AA and NHPIs understand their housing rights. This PSA was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The video emphasizes that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, and disability. The PSA is available in English and 15 AA and NHPI languages to reach the many limited English proficient communities that are often overlooked and underserved across the U.S. The languages include Bangla, Burmese, Hindi, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Marshallese, Nepali, Samoan, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Thai, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese.
You can access the PSA in all 16 languages here.
The 2022 AA and NHPI Community Resilience Fund: Building Cross-Racial Allyship, Healing, and Solidarity
Over the last two and half years, National CAPACD has responded to rising anti-Asian hate and violence and considered what role we must play in the racial reckoning to confront anti-Black racism in the United States. In doing so, we realized:
- AA and NHPI communities must work in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and Latinx-led organizations and communities to change systems of inequity that are sustained by division;
- Many organizations face barriers to accessing unrestricted funds that can finance critical internal and external racial equity work.
In response, National CAPACD committed to supporting local community-based organizations with flexible funding and other resources through the 2022 AA and NHPI Community Resilience Fund for their racial healing, anti-racism, and multi-racial coalition-building work. To date, we have provided $500,000 dollars to 21 organizations across the country.
In honor of Black History Month and Lunar New Year, one of our Community Resilience Fund subgrantees, Asian Health Services, held a Community Healing event featuring Asian and Black artists, food and resource tables, and COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, which was attended by hundreds of community members of all ages.
To learn more about the 2022 AA and NHPI Community Resilience Fund, see the full list of organizations supported by the fund, and read stories of the work being done in local communities, click here.
National CAPACD’s 2022 Building CAPACD Convention in Seattle
National CAPACD convened over 350 members, partners, and sponsors at the 2022 Building CAPACD Convention in the Westin Seattle, WA from July 11-13. Coming together in person for the first time since 2018 due to a global pandemic that changed the world and our work, our theme was aptly Reuniting to Re-imagine our Future.
Through a variety of plenaries, workshops, mobile tours, and alternative networking spaces, the programming provided many opportunities for participants to share, connect, and brainstorm together about our collective vision for a more just and equitable future. With the support of the Building CAPACD Convention host committee of local member organizations, they also learned about the leadership, history, and experiences of AA and NHPI communities in Seattle and King County. And in light of the continued risk of COVID-19, the health and well-being of all participants were a top priority in shared spaces and many of our participants reported feeling well taken care of during Convention.
You can read our reflections on the 2022 Building CAPACD Convention here.
National CAPACD Pushes For a Stronger Community Reinvestment Act
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a landmark piece of legislation that was enacted in 1977 to combat discrimination in the lending industry. Despite this, there are still significant barriers to accessing quality products and services for low- and middle-income (LMI) communities of color. To address this, federal agencies have released a proposed rule to reform the CRA.
National CAPACD has been hard at work advocating to make this proposal even stronger. In July, our Executive Director Seema Agnani testified at the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (HFSC) hearing titled Better Together: Examining the Unified Proposed Rule to Modernize the Community Reinvestment Act and recommended equitable Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) policies for AA and NHPI communities. You can watch a recording of the testimony below.
In August, we also submitted a comment letter with detailed recommendations on how this proposed rule can be strengthened to modernize the CRA and expand access to financial services and credit for LMI communities and communities of color. 29 of our members and three national allies joined us by signing on to our letter.
Read the comment letter and see our recommendations for a stronger CRA here.
Stepping Up, Stepping In Program Participants Meet in Oakland
The participants of National CAPACD’s pilot Stepping Up, Stepping In executive leadership development program convened in Oakland for a two-day workshop in August. This year-long capacity-building program provides these leaders with the opportunity to share and learn from one another as they transition into new roles within their respective organizations.
The members of this year’s Stepping Up, Stepping In cohort include:
- Allie Yee, APANO Communities United Fund
- Rhummanee Hang, AYPAL: Building API Community Power
- Vanessa Flores-Maldonado, Providence Youth Student Movement
Participants were taken on a tour through Oakland neighborhoods by AYPAL, who talked about the issues affecting their communities and empowering young AA and NHPI voices in the Bay Area youth movement. Kultivate Labs also took them through Kapwa Gardens and Balay Kreative while discussing the work they’re doing for Filipino artists, small businesses, and the community in the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District.
Thank you to JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, and the Target Foundation for their generous support of the Stepping Up, Stepping In program.
National CAPACD’s Members Convene in Los Angeles for the Annual Empowerment Economics Summit
In November, National CAPACD held our annual Empowerment Economics Summit in Los Angeles, CA. The summit convened participants from 11 member organizations, who received in-depth training on how to implement the Empowerment Economics (EmpEcon) framework into organizations or programs using our EmpEcon curriculum.
2022 Economic Empowerment Summit participants at the East Hollywood Farmers Market.
The summit was held in person for the first time since 2019 and provided the participants a space to make deeper connections while sharing their EmpEcon stories with each other. The participants also shared resources, tips, and program development strategies with each other as they developed their own action plans.
Thai CDC graciously hosted the summit and their Executive Director, Chancee Martorell, shared the history and development of Thai Town in Los Angeles. She also led a tour of Thai CDC’s vaccination clinic, the East Hollywood Farmers Market, Thai Town, and the Thai Town Marketplace. When the marketplace is ready, it will serve as a business incubator for food, retail, and artisan small business vendors.
Thank you to our trainers Jeff Gilbreath of Hawai’i Community Lending (HCL), Jacquelyn Lekhraj, and Taelani Camacho of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), and our EmpEcon partner Danielle Chun of the Leah Zallman Center for leading and facilitating fruitful dialogues between our participants throughout the summit.
National CAPACD’s Annual Housing Counseling Convening Held in Houston
Earlier this month, National CAPACD held our annual Housing Counseling Convening in Houston, TX. At this year’s convening, housing counselors and program staff from 16 member organizations had the opportunity to network with one another, engage in peer learning, and gain additional knowledge to best support their housing programs. Participants also received training on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing counseling program management.
2022 Housing Counseling Convening participants at the Fo Guang Shan Chung Mei Temple-Houston.
Thank you to the Chinese Community Center (CCC) for hosting this year’s convening at one of their senior centers. They also led a cultural tour of Houston’s Chinatown and Fo Guang Shan Chung Mei Temple, where attendees participated in a traditional tea ceremony.
2022 Housing Counseling Convening attendees participating in a traditional tea ceremony at the Fo Guang Shan Chung Mei Temple-Houston.
We would also like to thank the National Training Academy of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition of Washington, DC for providing training to our participants on how to successfully manage a housing counseling agency. We appreciate everyone who made it possible to return to our first in-person Housing Counseling Convening since 2019.