Funder Briefing: Community Wealth Building Initiative

Monday, August 18, 2014
10:30am to 12:00pm EDT
The Meyer Foundation
1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 800
Most WRAG events are only open to our members. Please refer to the text at left for attendance eligibility.
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Eligible to attend: Members of the local philanthropic community. Log-in to register, or email Rebekah Seder at
RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, August 13.

We often hear about the economic divide between the knowledge class and the working class. The Greater Washington region is known for the thinkers you see on national news shows and for the tourism industry that is supported in large measure by the working class.

The Community Wealth Building Initiative (CWBI) is intended to create a new dynamic in our region – lower income people becoming business owners, a part of the entrepreneurial class.

With support from members of the philanthropic community who saw the potential implications for their work in workforce development, poverty alleviation, health, and the environment, the region's readiness for this approach was tested. Business ideas were vetted, and the first business, focused on stormwater management, is about to be launched in Prince George’s County. This is just the first of several ideas for businesses to be located in different parts of the region but intended to benefit the region as a whole. These businesses will directly change the life trajectories of those who will become not just employees, but employee-owners.

Come learn how you can be part of this effort now and help to spread the model across the region. If you are interested in the initiative, but unable to attend, please contact Tamara Copeland at

Presenter: John Hamilton, Founder and Board Chair, City First Bank, and Acting CEO and Board Chair, City First Homes. City First is the organization that is leading the implementation of the Community Wealth Building Initiative in our region.

Note: This briefing is part of a two-part session. Consider joining a one day trip to Cleveland, Ohio on September 25 to hear firsthand from the funders, the business incubators, and the employee owners of the Evergreen initiative in Cleveland, where this economic development model started in the U.S. This trip is for funders only.


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