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Policy Summit 2021: Pathways to Economic Resilience in Our Communities

When & Where

Policy Summit 2021: Pathways to Economic Resilience in Our Communities
June –23-25, 2021
Virtual Conference


Please direct any questions about the Policy Summit to Treye Johnson.

Policy Summit 2021 sessions were livestreamed. Please refer to the Agenda tab for speaker presentations, related content, and more.

Opening Remarks & Keynote Presentation: Economic Resilience: What It Is, What It Is Not, and Why We Must Prioritize It Immediately

As we move through a pandemic that has wrought havoc on our communities, we find there are many facets to rebuilding: reinvigorating local and regional economies, strengthening neighborhoods by adding quality and affordable housing, supporting small businesses, and providing career pathways for our current and future workforce. This session defines economic resilience, highlights its importance in post-COVID-19 times, and provides ways communities can work toward achieving this goal.

Opening Remarks:
Michelle W. Bowman, Governor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Keynote Speaker:
Andre M. Perry, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Plenary 1 - Common Ground in Urban and Rural America:
What Has Undermined—and What Can Build—Economic Resilience

Economic resilience is needed, in both urban and rural communities, now more than ever. In this session, speakers share stories and insights about the geographic and racial exclusion that has undermined the economic health of these two populations essential to the success of our nation. The discussion will also identify strategies and interventions both populations can use to build economic resilience.

Pat Smith, President and CEO, The Funders Network

Caitlin Cain, Vice President and Director, Rural LISC
Andre M. Perry, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Teryn Zmuda, Chief Economist and Director, National Association of Counties Counties Futures Lab

Theresa Y. Singleton, Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Affordable Home Buyers Need Mortgages, Too

Our national affordable-housing conversation too often ignores the fact that even in communities where quality homes sell for $65,000, eligible homebuyers are unable to obtain small-dollar mortgage loans to purchase them. Because loans of less than $100,000 have the same administrative cost as bigger loans but are less profitable and harder to sell on the secondary market, lenders have little incentive to provide them. This session explores the innovative and promising mortgage lending programs helping to connect eligible buyers and smaller loans, increase wealth for low- and moderate-income buyers, and stabilize disinvested communities.

Angelyque Campbell, Assistant Director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Gabe del Rio, President and CEO, Homeownership Council of America
Alanna McCargo, Senior Advisor, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Innovation + Collaboration = Change: How Nonprofit Leaders of Color Move Equity & Resilience Forward

Nonprofit leaders of color are merging funding, policies, and programs to address deep and systemic inequities that continue to prevent prosperity for communities of color. Join this session to hear how national and local nonprofit and philanthropic leaders are adopting new approaches and initiating collaborations within the community development sector to advance change and move equity and resilience forward.

Sydney Diavua, Director, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Presley Gillespie, President, Neighborhood Allies
Akilah Watkins, President and CEO, Center for Community Progress

Technology and the Post-Pandemic Digital Economy

From distance working to distance job training, the pandemic has caused significant shifts the role technology plays in our daily lives. Technology is allowing a significant segment of the population to work from anywhere. This session will explore how shifting concepts of remote work and digital skills training are expanding access for everyone including the most vulnerable populations.

Jeremy Hegle, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
Neelima Parasker, President and CEO, SnapIT Solutions
Jeff Whitehead, Executive Director, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program

Plenary 2 - Tell Your Story: Finding Economic Resilience in the Voices of Our Communities


This session explores the power of storytelling and its ability to elevate historically excluded community voices. The most effective storytellers can wield their power—sharing the experiences of those in lower-income communities and communities of color—to change commonly held ideas that frame the broader narrative of who is deserving of wealth, education, and healthy communities. This dynamic session features storytellers from communities across the nation using PechaKucha, a fast-paced, highly visual format that shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each. While they will all employ the same presentation format, each speaker will draw back the curtain on their own storytelling process, from ideation to execution, and hopefully inspire attendees to find and use their voices.

Nadia Owusu, Director of Storytelling, Frontline Solutions

Patricia Ashanti, Founder and CEO, Delta Circles, Inc.
Eric J. Jolly, President and CEO, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
Takeru Nagayoshi, Massachusetts 2020 Teacher of the Year, New Bedford High School
Mary Kathryn Nagle, Partner, Pipestem & Nagle, P.C.

Creating Inclusive, Equitable, Mixed Income Communities with Community Land Trusts

Leaders of community land trusts explain how their model can advance inclusion and equity and deconcentrate poverty in communities. Speakers will discuss considerations for implementing community land trusts, including their ability to alleviate racial disparities in homeownership.

Tony Pickett, CEO, Grounded Solutions Network

Ashley Allen, Executive Director, Houston Community Land Trust
Stefka Fanchi, CEO, Elevation Community Land Trust

Build Resilience—in Local Governments and Beyond—with this Toolkit

For local governments across the country, the challenges of resetting disrupted city services, supporting vulnerable populations and businesses, and ensuring an inclusive fiscal recovery long after the shocks of 2020 are plenty. A toolkit from the Resilient Cities Network helps local governments answer critical questions: What activities have we stopped that we should not restart? What have we paused that we should start again but differently? And what are the things we have started that we will keep? This session will explore tools that every sector might use to prepare for, adapt to, and thrive in a changing local, national, and global environment. The session spotlights a recent agreement between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Glasgow, Scotland, to work together to achieve more resilient and inclusive communities, as well as New York City’s approach to identifying and assisting neighborhoods most affected by pandemic-related closures.

Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Director and Senior Advisor, Resilient Cities Network

Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh
Majestic Lane, Chief Equity Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Pittsburgh
Corinne LeTourneau, Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

Big Help for Small Businesses: Solutions for Improving Access to Capital

Despite their importance to our economy, small-business owners—particularly women, people of color, and other underserved populations—face significant hurdles obtaining funds from traditional sources such as banks. Wide disparities in accessing capital have grown wider as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has relied on our traditional, often inequitable system of financial institutions. Often, the only funding available to the smallest businesses is accompanied by high interest rates and confusing repayment terms. This session looks at efforts of lenders, nonprofits, and government to ensure that long-term, equitable, responsible capital is available to help enable small businesses to survive and thrive.

Drew Pack, Regional Outreach Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Geri Aglipay, Midwest Director, Small Business Majority
Abbey Omodunbi, Senior Economist, The PNC Financial Services Group
Danielle Sydnor, CEO, We Win Strategies Group

The Homes We Build Are Not The Homes Communities Need

Why does the construction industry continue to build the same housing products it did during the 20th century even though demographics and consumer preferences have changed? This session will dive into recent efforts to reevaluate single-family zoning and to look at the disconnect between the new construction housing we are building and the types of housing communities prioritize.

Tracy Hadden Loh, Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council
Edward Faustin, Cofounder and Managing Principal, AreaProbe

Praise Is Not Enough: Solutions for Closing the Pay Gap for Our Essential Workers

The pandemic has made clear the crucial role low-paid workers play in our economy. These essential workers deliver packages, grow and distribute food, operate transit systems, and care for our children and seniors. In some sectors, such as health care, essential workers are disproportionately women, while in others, such as cleaning services, they are disproportionately people of color. Low and stagnant wages in essential occupations have reinforced a significant pay gap between women and men and between workers of color and white workers. In this session, speakers discuss what has worked to support essential workers in 2020, what has not, and what policies and practices can meaningfully close the wage gaps.

Elise Gould, Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Kristen E. Broady, Policy Director and Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Thomas Kochan, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Policy Deep Dive: Research and Policy

The right research is a powerful tool, helping to change narratives, elevate community voices, and identify actions and interventions that produce positive outcomes across communities. In this workshop, researchers show the vital role that data can play for public policy. The session also includes a discussion about a new effort to more formally connect researchers with policymakers.

Mekael Teshome, Vice President and Senior Regional Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Gabriella Celeste, Policy Director, Case Western Reserve University
Jeffrey Shook, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

A Targeted Approach for Embedding Racial Equity in Housing Analyses

Housing analysts are reexamining the manner in which they analyze housing policy need and impact. How can researchers—and those translating and sharing that research—ensure quantitative data helps policymakers craft clear, targeted policies that achieve racially equitable housing resource allocation, access, and outcomes? Speakers will discuss the need to disaggregate data by race to allow the development of more targeted policy solutions informed by the long history of inequity for people of color.

Jamila Henderson, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

Dennis P. Culhane, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Gabriella Velasco, Policy Analyst, Urban Institute

Innovation and Building a Better Economy

Jobs and even whole industries are currently undergoing significant transformations. In this session, speakers discuss promising innovations that are helping to create more resilient workers, expand equitable occupational mobility, and ensure the country’s youth are prepared to join our changing workforce.

Chike Aguh, Chief Innovation Officer, United States Department of Labor
Kyle Fee, Senior Policy Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Building a Small Business Ecosystem: A Recipe for Effective and Equitable Entrepreneur Support

What do small-business owners need to be successful? Access to capital? Skilled labor pools? Government policies? This session explores the ingredients necessary for creating supportive ecosystems that contribute to business growth and equitably and proactively include entrepreneurs of color.

Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Victor W. Hwang, Founder and CEO, Right to Start
Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Opportunity Hub

Policy Deep Dive: Housing

The mission of Enterprise Community Partners is to make home and community places of pride, power, and belonging, and platforms for resilience and upward mobility for all. During this session, Enterprise staff examine the local, state, and federal housing policies and interventions that address the challenges currently preventing people from accessing safe and affordable housing options.

Flora Arabo, National Senior Director of State and Local Policy, Enterprise Community Partners
Emily Lundgard, Senior Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners

Policy Deep Dive: Workforce Development

There is no way to sugarcoat it: The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on our workforce. Entire industries had to change the way they operated, 22 million jobs were lost, and too many workers were forced to choose between safety and work. This session highlights critical policy considerations that will impact the conditions for our workforce now and into the future.

Bishara Addison, Director of Job Preparation, The Fund for Our Economic Future
Alex Camardelle, Director of Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Revitalizing Communities by Restoring Neighborhood Retail

Street-level retail suffered a significant shock in 2020, but it remains a vital part of the neighborhood economy. Underperforming commercial corridors are challenged by dated and dilapidated building stock, owners without community connections, unsafe or unattractive corridor conditions, and difficulties marketing to entrepreneurs and nascent small businesses. This session will look at promising changes in the zoning, leasing, taxing, and marketing of neighborhood retail spaces to renew community vibrancy and create wealth-building opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Susan Longworth, Senior Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Adriana Abizadeh, Executive Director, Kensington Corridor Trust
Calvin L. Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund
Emily Talen, Professor, University of Chicago

View the transcript

FedTalk: What an “Inclusive” Recovery Looks Like in the Midwest, and Why It Matters to All of Us

For many communities, COVID-19 is just the latest economic shock to stand in the way of good jobs that provide people and families stable incomes and promising futures. Helping define what an inclusive recovery means to people and communities both locally and nationally, this session will examine the specific ways the pandemic has impacted the Midwest, expose the ways economic and racial exclusion keep economic recovery out of reach for millions of families, and propose the policies and interventions that Midwest leaders may take into consideration as they work to rebuild their communities.

Alene Tchourumoff, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Loretta J. Mester, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Matt Dunne, Founder and Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation
Ronald Ferguson, Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard University
Crystal German, Principal, Prosperity Labs
Ned Hill, Professor, The Ohio State University
Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton LLP

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in partnership with the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Richmond, and St. Louis.