Community Stories

Advancing Racial Equity by
Investing in an Equitable Economy

Community Stories

Advancing Racial Equity by
Investing in an Equitable Economy

Community Vision’s contribution to a reparative economy is long-term and multilayered. Our aim is to create structural, cultural, and paradigm change–both internally and externally–that centers Black Liberation and BIPOC communities. We do this through developing financial and capacity building strategies that direct resources to community-led solutions.

The calls to action for the financial and philanthropic sectors to acknowledge and repair harms upon Black, Indigenous, and communities of color (BIPOC) have grown increasingly urgent; particularly as the pandemic and racial uprisings of 2020 laid bare the racial inequities embedded in our economic and social structures. The calls to decolonize wealth, develop practices of community-centric fundraising, invest in a Just Transition, and to take action that upholds that Black Lives Matter, have all helped to inform how Community Vision contributes to a reparative economy.

Back In Business

Community Vision’s Back in Business program is a business development strategy to support equitable recovery efforts by providing loans and grants to BIPOC-owned and led small businesses and nonprofits. The program blended together two sources of COVID-related funding: a $2 million grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund Program and $1.8 million grant from the CDFI Fund’s Rapid Response Program. We created this loan pool to support re-opening costs, pivoting operations, re-hiring, equipment purchase, debt consolidation, among other needs.


No Data Found

Based on client self-reporting

The REAL People's Fund

The REAL People’s Fund (REAL) was created through a collaborative process over the last six years, and because of the dedication of many people, the fund will begin lending to small businesses in 2022. REAL– which stands for Revolutionizing our Economy for all Local People– directly addresses systemic failures that prevent entrepreneurs in Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color from accessing the capital and resources their businesses need to thrive.

AAA CDFI scorecard

The racial wealth gap in the US is continuing to grow. This gap is not new. It is generational and a part of the ongoing legacy of structural racism and anti-Blackness weaved into the very fabric of our social, political, and financial institutions. A legacy that permeates the daily lived experiences, livelihoods, neighborhoods, and communities of every Black person.

Community Ownership of Community Assets

In Community Vision’s 35 years as a CDFI, we’ve built an expertise in providing technical assistance and financing for real estate projects, such as acquisitions, renovations, and shared space facilities. We’ve partnered with nonprofits and small businesses on a range of projects including affordable housing, youth centers, medical and dental offices, theaters, educational facilities, recreational spaces, and more.
Our expertise is in supporting community acquisition and preservation of real estate in their communities; what we refer to as advancing community ownership of community assets. Due to decades of disinvestment in the form of racist and discriminatory lending practices, residential development, city planning, and suburbanization there are deep inequities in who has access to capital and land.
To serve communities living on the margins of opportunity we take a holistic and restorative approach to community development by bringing together multiple forms of capital, including financial, navigational, and social capital. Navigational capital is our ability to help clients navigate through and access systems, institutions, and geographic regions that hold resources and power. Social capital is our ability to connect clients with someone that can best meet their needs. Change happens when we invest in not just a project, but the leadership of the people, the neighborhood, and the community.


No Data Found

Black Cultural Zone

The BCZ transformed the corner lot into a place where people go and feel joy, have fun, and connect with their community. Throughout 2020 and 2021, BCZ hosted food distributions, movie nights, the AKOMA Outdoor Market that includes a certified farmers’ market, and in July 2021, opened California’s only outdoor wood floor roller skate rink. A year after receiving a license to occupy and activate the lot, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved BCZ for site control of the 1.2 acres; a major achievement towards the intentions set for cooperative ownership and management of a mixed-use HUB space for retail and affordable housing.

Central Valley Empowerment Alliance

The Central Valley Empowerment Alliance (CVEA) was established as a nonprofit in 2019 and serves residents who live in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, and Madera counties by promoting access to affordable housing, quality education, food, and health care, as well as creating civic engagement and leadership development opportunities.
Miriam Martinez

Being able to operate this kitchen and offer space to other food vendors is a major accomplishment not only for La Jacka, but for the families in our community. It ensures that existing tenants can grow here and opens up more opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs here in Fresno.

West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center

West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center is the oldest Filipino-led organization in San Francisco, serving the city’s Filipino immigrant and Asian Pacific Islander communities in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood for more than 50 years.


The California Community-Owned Real Estate Program (CalCORE) launched the first of three cohorts in April 2021, with 14 community-based developers. CalCORE consists of five key elements that create a comprehensive strategy for increasing locally-owned and controlled real estate with a focus on small and emergent developers of color who are rooted in their community. This strategy was developed, in part, by more than 20 interviews with community-based real estate entities led by people of color and specifically addresses the capacity and capital barriers that were common among the developers’ experiences.


No Data Found