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March 17, 2014
CDFIs Pledge $1 Billion to Support My Brother's Keeper
by Robert Kropp
Opportunity Finance Network launches campaign for $1 billion annually in new financing by community
development financial institutions, to benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged
communities across America.
Last month, President Obama announced the launch of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative intended
to improve opportunities for boys and young men of color. “Data shows that boys and young men of
color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the
journey from their youngest years to college and career,” a fact sheet from the White House press
office stated. The initiative “is focused on unlocking the full potential of boys and young men of
color – something that will not only benefit them, but all Americans.”
A number of
the nation's leading foundations announced at the launch that they will invest at least $200
million over a five-year period “to find and rapidly spread solutions that have the highest
potential for impact in key areas.”
Earlier this month, the nation's largest network of
community development financial institutions (CDFIs) announced that it too was joining the effort.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a network of 225
CDFIs, stated that its members have committed to originating $1 billion annually in new financing
that benefits young people of color.
“CDFI financing will support early care through high
school education, community health centers and healthy foods in underserved communities,
entrepreneurship and small business financing, after school programs, and quality, affordable
housing that makes opportunities possible for so many,” a letter to President
“We work to align capital with justice,” OFN President Mark Pinsky said.
“The Youth Opportunity Pledge is our commitment to hold ourselves accountable to black and Latino
male youth and other youth of color in our nation.”
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