Beneficial State Foundation Perspectives

Our thoughts on changing the banking system for good and building the new economy

Underwriting for Racial Justice Meetings

Welcome to the URJ Meetings page. We’ll update this after each meeting as tools and recordings become available. Use this page to stay up to date with URJ!


Future Meetings:

Underwriting for Racial Justice meetings are held quarterly. Each session explores a different topic with the goal of aiding lenders in increasing capital deployed to people of color. Register now to sign up for future meetings.


Past Meetings:

Lending to Native American Communities – May 29, 2024 | View Recording and Highlights and Resources
The focus of this webinar was lending to Native American communities, highlighting the unique challenges and innovative solutions in this space. The discussion featured insights from four innovative panelists: Darkfeather Ancheta from 1st Tribal Lending, Jaime Gloshay from Common Future, Shannon Ward from Native American Bank, and Tamra Marlowe from the Chehalis Tribal Loan Fund. Each panelist shared their expertise, shedding light on the complexities of providing financial services to Native communities and offering practical strategies to enhance access to capital and support economic development.

Racial Equity Initiatives and the Evolving Legal Landscape – February 28, 2024 | View Main Takeaways
URJ engaged in conversation with Katy Youker, Director of the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Mitria Spotser, VP and Federal Policy Director at the Center for Responsible Lending, about the ongoing legal challenges to racial equity and affirmative action, with particular focus on the financial services sector. We learned more about the groups funding these attacks and the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions. Katy and Mitria emphasize the importance of continuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts despite these challenges, and highlighted the need for financial institutions to address the needs of communities of color. The conversation also explored the legal framework for Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) and the necessity of proactive measures, legal guidance, and education to sustain and advance racial equity initiatives.

Lending in the Latinx Community – September 27, 2023 | View Recording
Our September meeting was a pivotal discussion on the challenges and opportunities in lending within the Latinx community, featuring guest speakers Marisa Calderon, then Executive Director of NCRC and now CEO and President of Prosperity Now, and Yery Olivares, COO of Confia, the expanding Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation’s CDFI. Marisa and Yery Olivares engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about the unique hurdles faced by the Latinx community in accessing capital. The meeting provided valuable insights into the nuanced landscape of financial services for the Latinx population for those passionate about fostering financial inclusion and addressing this community’s specific needs.

Pilot Program Introduction – February 22, 2023 | View Recording and Program Guide
URJ has announced its next phase in dismantling inequitable underwriting practices. Twenty phenomenal lenders in the URJ Lender Pilot Program cohort have committed to creating or continuing programs designed to increase access to capital for people of color.  In this meeting, Erin Kilmer Neel shared the pilot initiative, covered expectations and benefits and answered questions for prospective lenders. View our Press Release to learn which lenders were selected to be a part of this journey to bring justice to the financial industry.

Technical Assistance – January 25, 2023 | View Recording and Good Money Guide
This Underwriting for Racial Justice meeting was focused on technical assistance for small businesses and CBOs. Naima McQueen and Alex Pineda of Alliance for Community Development shared their take on what great service looks like for new and growing entrepreneurs.  Learn about how they started, where they are going, and their innovative approach to technical assistance.

Technical Assistance – October 26, 2022 | View Recording 
In the October Underwriting for Racial Justice meeting, Casey Bell, Chief Impact Officer of Pacific Community Ventures, shared their strategy for restorative capital.  Learn about how they set up their technical assistance, their theory of change, and their impact methodology.

Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) – September 28, 2022 | View Recording or Slides
In the September Underwriting for Racial Justice meeting, Maria Kei Oldiges, Director of Social Impact Research and Evaluation at Beneficial State Foundation, presented several case studies on institutions that have utilized their own Special Purpose Credit Program. Learn about the various approaches and get inspiration for developing your own SPCP.