OFN Resources

Operationalizing Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (REIA) into Lending Practices 

03-21-2023 11:45 AM

This toolkit was developed to help CDFIs incorporate an explicit focus on racial equity, inclusion, and accessibility into their lending practices. Dismantling decades of structural inequality and systemic racism takes time, is deeply personal, and requires a persistent commitment from individuals as well as institutions, as both must transform alongside one another to move towards a world of greater equity and racial justice.

As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to operationalize racial equity into a CDFI’s lending operations. Instead, this toolkit seeks to provide insights, tools, and suggestions to help you take action at your CDFI in the unique context of your organization and community. 

The toolkit includes a guide structured in four sections, each with suggested actions and activities you can undertake individually or as a group.

(1) The first section focuses on power; what it is, why it matters — and how to understand and analyze it. 
(2) The second section suggests actions individual practitioners can take.
(3) The third section focuses on institutional-level actions. 
(4) The fourth section provides guidance on how CDFIs can work to operationalize accessibility into their lending practices.

This toolkit also includes a reading & resource list, as well as activities to help you analyze and reflect on power.

Lastly, OFN intends for our leading practices resources and toolkits to be living documents. We recognize that leading practices may need to be revised over time, as changes in standards, industry requirements, and advancements in technology may require different practices. As a result, we plan to update all toolkits periodically to be responsive to evolving conditions.

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Comments

03-30-2023 11:24 AM

Well done on these exercises around Power, both individually and interagency and inter organizational.  I love the Intergroup Monopoly example and resources.  This gives me great ideas of activities and resources for my firm's Project Triton initiative.