Portland symposium on expanding financial opportunity highlights promising practices aimed at removing barriers to wealth building in communities

National -

Portland, OR – RealEstateRama – At a time when so many U.S. adults are struggling to make ends meet and getting lost in a cycle of mounting debt, a Dec. 11 symposium in downtown Portland will discuss the importance of ensuring people have access to the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for them to move toward greater financial stability. “Exploring Financial Opportunity: Catapulting Communities Forward” will explore the role community development and affordable housing practitioners play in creating circumstances for financial mobility, examine strategies to remove barriers to wealth building and deep-dive on approaches to reducing the racial wealth gap through presentations and practitioner discussions.

NeighborWorks America

Exploring Financial Opportunity: Catapulting Communities Forward” is part of the NeighborWorks Training Institute. The weeklong event, Dec. 9-13, hosted by NeighborWorks America, provides comprehensive professional education and training for housing and community development professionals. In 2018 NeighborWorks America awarded more than 14,500 training certificates to professionals from more than 3,000 community development organizations.

“Our goal in convening this group of thought leaders and industry professionals is to figure out what’s working and build upon models of success that lead to systemic change,” said Marietta Rodriguez, president and CEO of NeighborWorks America. “If we can increase capacity for the organizations doing this important work, open up access to the right resources, inevitably we will be able to turn the tide and help more people bridge the wealth and attainment gaps that keep them from achieving financial stability.”

Among the confirmed speakers at the symposium:

  • Ray Boshara, senior adviser and director of the Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
  • Alice Rodriguez, head of community and business development for JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer Bank

The NeighborWorks Training Institute in Portland is supported by a variety of partners, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BB&T and Freddie Mac.

In addition to the training institute, NeighborWorks organizations work every day to serve Portland and the region. In fiscal year 2018, NeighborWorks organizations in Oregon generated nearly $189 million in total direct investment, provided 8,106 housing and counseling services, and counseled and educated 3,805 customers.

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer-exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools and access to training, as the nation’s leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. In the last five years, our organizations have generated more than $34 billion in investment across the country.

Lindsay Moore


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