The recent images involving the killings of George Floyd and other men and women of color in our country have been both shocking and gut-wrenching. Our neighbors in our cities, our state, our nation, and our world are calling for justice not only for these senseless deaths, but to spur changes to unjust policies and practices that undermine the efforts of all of us to form the “more perfect Union” originally envisioned by the framers of our Constitution.
Our work at Hartford Community Loan Fund requires us to confront the impacts of racial and economic inequality in our society. We know too well the role that financial institutions have historically played in denying people of color – but especially Black men and women - access to affordable capital. Capital needed to purchase a home, to start a business, to finance a child’s education. The movement that eventually gave birth to HCLF and 1,000+ other community loan funds (now called community development financial institutions, or CDFIs) was birthed in the late 1960s in response to banks who ‘redlined’ communities of color, severely restricting access to capital by residents of those communities. Many of us, along with our ancestors, have taken this access to capital for granted, while others have never known such privilege. CDFIs like Hartford Community Loan Fund were created for the purpose of bringing equity to people and places that have been unjustly denied access to capital.
Hartford Community Loan Fund supports the global Black Lives Matter movement, and we’re increasing our own commitment to the pursuit of greater racial and economic justice in Hartford and throughout Connecticut. Contact us to see how you can partner with us and help create a more just and equitable community.