2018 was a banner year for Rudy Espinoza, the executive director of Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) in Los Angeles, a nonprofit that specializes in supporting equitable local economies. Not only was he named a 2019 Rubinger Fellow, but last November, the Los Angeles City Council finally voted to legalize street vending, a campaign that Espinoza, LURN and a coalition of vendor-leaders and community developers had been waging for nearly a decade.
In an op-ed for the Daily Yonder, Suzanne Anarde, VP of Rural LISC, and Matt Dunne of the Center on Rural Innovation take aim at pervasive media portrayals of a rural America in hopeless decline (witness a recent New York Times column by Paul Krugman). The challenges are real, they acknowledge, but far from intractable. We must take cues from small towns building innovative local economies, and invest strategically to spark sustainable development and growth in the heartland—for the good of the entire country.
Only by reckoning with the past are we able to create a society that honors the dignity and wellbeing of all Americans. In recognition of Women’s History Month, we shine a spotlight on three LISC sites where our work is led by women and supports women in the communities we serve—and aims to build a future where everyone can thrive and prosper.
In recognition of Black History Month, LISC Phoenix program officer Dominic Braham reflects on the African-American history of his city, and how the influence of a historic “dividing line” between downtown and the redlined neighborhoods of South Phoenix still shapes its communities. Developing local leadership of color, connecting people with the region’s prosperity, and committing to racial equity as the city develops, he explains, are keys to authentic civic engagement and a more inclusive Phoenix. Photo courtesy of InSite Consultants.
Our ten inaugural Rubinger Fellows have come to the end of their fellowship year, and our hats are off to them! In addition to the manuscripts, playbooks, poems, sermons and other creations the fellows produced to cap the year, they shared some reflections on their highlights and lessons learned as Rubinger Fellows. Watch the videos to hear what they had to say.