JULY 2020
We are just halfway through this extraordinary, challenging, and often disorienting year; yet, if anything, the work of asset building and focused advocacy for racial, ethnic and gender equity in wealth building has developed greater urgency.
As soon as the severity of the pandemic was known, AFN realized two things:
  1. the themes of what needed to be done to challenge economic myths to correct systemic exclusion from wealth building was even more urgent, and
  2. the economic crisis of 2020 was likely to be devastating and potentially transformational.
Understanding this, like so many of you, we recommitted our strategies to reflect the new realities and build upon the broader, sustained focus for racial equity.
We shifted our focus to continue to advance equity in wealth building within the framework of philanthropy leading relief, helping the economic recovery, and seeding the rebuild of economic opportunity that relies upon a reimagined equitable economy. We strive to be the partner that is both grounded in reality and aspires strategically to achieve the change we believe is the promise we share. That hard work is both in imagining what needs to change to achieve equity alongside the uncomfortable conversations that will lead it, and in the details of changing processes and systems to offer effective wealth building tools and to protect against predation.
This year, while pivoting to curate a new monthly bulletin that speaks to AFN members’ efforts to deliver relief and to provide opportunities to join a series of peer-to-peer live conversations on key topics that foster relief and recovery best practices, AFN continues to fulfill our mission to advance equitable wealth building and to catalyze philanthropic efforts to build economic security by adding taking a deeper dive into three of our focus areas with the following newly released Briefs and Spotlights:
  • The second of the three in the Health-Wealth Spotlight Series, exploring the bidirectional nature of health and wealth outcomes: Advancing Health and Wealth Integration in the Earliest Years . The third and final in the series will be released later this year.
  • Like the Health-Wealth series, AFN continues to explore the root causes, the data, and the approaches to close the gender wealth gap. AFN’s latest on this topic, From Surviving to Thriving – Ensuring the Golden Years Remain Golden for Older Women is the fourth in a series of briefs that build on AFN’s 2015 publication, Women & Wealth, to explore how the gender wealth gap impacts women, particularly low-income women and women of color, throughout their life cycle, and provides responsive strategies and best practices that funders can employ to create greater economic security for women. Later this Fall, AFN will release a fifth in the series that challenges us to think and address the economic security of those who suffer intimate partner violence—an unique and important focus if we truly want to advance gender equity.
  • Finally, at the request of funders and practitioners, we continue to dive into the practice that helps to realize change. In Client Engagement and Retention – The Secret Ingredient in Successful Financial Capability Programs, we address the factors that impact, and the lessons learned by active practitioners, to outreach, engage, and work with community members to realize change. This reflects the understanding that even as we move to understand the need for fundamental and systemic shifts, we also need to be better at engaging and retaining-supporting lasting change.
Over the next year, AFN — through its dedicated regions, members and staff — will continue to build on the foundation of what AFN and its members have developed, critically review what is happening to celebrate advances in equity, and expose the causes and ways to reverse continued inequity by race, ethnicity, gender or it’s other causes.
Join AFN to maximize the return on investment. Refer to AFN’s latest resource materials for effective strategies on health and wealth inequality, gender wealth, and financial programs, as we work together to advance economic opportunity and prosperity for low and moderate income people.