Jan 9, 2023
What happens when a well-resourced Community Development Financial Institution with a track record of $3B dollars in investments takes steps to become a measurably more racially equitable and power building nonprofit in the Black and Brown communities it serves? In Power Station’s first episode of 2023 I explore that question with Lucy Arellano Baglieri, one of the community development sector’s most impactful leaders. Lucy’s lived experience as a childhood immigrant from Mexico who navigated unjust systems for her parents inspired her to work for Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), which builds Latino wealth through community ownership and civic action. Now, as Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) Lucy is a key player in expanding on and executing a strategic plan that will inevitably shake up organizational and sectoral norms. This work requires changing internal practices in lending, such as reimagining who is credit worthy and in external roles, including when to step back to prioritize the voices of CDFI CEOs of color. With trusted partner CEO Dan Nisenbaum and a highly engaged Board of Directors, Lucy is making systemic change possible.