CDFI Network Pledges to Support 'My Brother’s Keeper' Initiative

CDFI Network Pledges to Support 'My Brother’s Keeper' Initiative

The Opportunity Finance Network has pledged to raise $1 billion a year from community development financing institutions in support of President Obama's  My Brother's Keeper initiative.

The Youth Opportunity Pledge commits OFN's network of more than two hundred and twenty-five CDFIs to originate $1 billion in new financing to benefit youth in low-income communities across the United States, including $300 million for creating opportunities specifically for African-American and Latino boys and young men. The financing will support a variety of programs and activities, including health centers and improved access to healthy foods in underserved communities, entrepreneurship and small business development, afterschool programming, and affordable housing.

Announced last month by President Obama, My Brother's Keeper is a public-private initiative spearheaded by ten private foundations that have pledged to invest $200 million in the effort over five years. According to OFN board chair Trinita Logue, president of IFF, a CDFI that works in the Midwest, the initiative has sparked a movement. "The president's leadership is already drawing good corporate citizens and foundations to invest more substantially in underserved people and places," said Logue.

"We work to align capital with justice," said Mark Pinsky, president and chief executive of OFN. "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....What gets measured gets done."