Building community resilience for future generations

The 2020 murder of George Floyd incited a surge of attention to racial inequality in the U.S., yet America’s unrelenting racial wealth gap continues to grow. Racist policies and legacies of segregation influence continued disinvestment in Black communities, making it difficult to access economic and other forms of capital. A recent Mercy Partnership Fund loan is helping one organization address persistent racial inequalities through community empowerment and inclusion.

Rochdale Capital, a nonprofit community development loan fund advances the expansion of community ownership and cooperative principles while bringing innovative financing and services to underresourced communities. The organization’s name stems from the story of Frederick Douglass’ freedom from slavery in 1847, which was made possible by financial support he received from the first modern co-op in Rochdale, England. Rochdale Capital focuses on projects in housing, food and solar energy sectors providing equitable economic access, including a recent solar loan to the City of Refuge in Baltimore, Maryland, allowing the nonprofit to serve as a “Community Resiliency Hub” for power and temporary relief in the event of a city emergency or natural disaster. By creating and preserving a legacy of resilience in Black communities, Rochdale offers a pathway to vital resources, networks, and opportunities for ownership and community change.

Spanning almost 30 years, Mercy Partnership Fund has often been an early investor in organizations like Rochdale Capital, providing catalytic capital to create systemic change. Read more about the work of Mercy Partnership Fund’s more than 60 investees around the world.

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