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January 15, 2014 / Christian Clansky

Everything you need to know about the Community Wealth Building Initiative

These are some terms you’ve might have read on The Daily WRAG or heard in conversations with your colleagues: cooperatives, employee-owned businesses, anchor institutions, Evergreen Initiative, community wealth building.

All of these connect with each other through the Community Wealth Building Initiative (CWBI).

A few years ago, a number of funders in the WRAG community traveled to Ohio to learn about the Cleveland Foundation’s Evergreen Initiative. Evergreen is a highly-successful model for job creation and community development among low-income populations. The trip was a launching point for our local funding community to study the feasibility of bringing the model to our region.

Since then, these funders have formally convened as the Community Wealth Building Initiative. The initiative has made significant progress and, last November, we reported on the group’s identification of two projects to lead the CWBI. Since then we’ve received a number of questions about the project, its current status, and next steps. In response, WRAG asked the initiative’s lead consultant, City First Enterprises, to develop an FAQ.

Whether you’ve been following this work from the start or are just learning about it now, we hope this will be a handy reference for you.

As the Community Wealth Building Initiative moves forward, we will feature periodic updates on the work in the Daily WRAG. While the philanthropic community has been the catalyst for bringing this initiative to the region, government, business, and the nonprofit sector will all be vital partners in making this a success. So, let us know what you think as the different phases unfold.

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