Asset Funders Network introduces Equity Amplifier in Action, a bi-monthly blog member testimonial that highlights why and how funders are supporting nonprofits through expanding commitments to racial and economic justice & cultivating a community of practice.

When Red River Bank joined the Louisiana Asset Funders Network (LA AFN) in 2022, I was excited to join a group of grantmakers whose purpose is to advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility. Being a part of a LA AFN allowed me to share the challenges happening within my community and collaborate with other funders to effective grantmaking through coordinated and strategic investments in asset building.

It was also important to me that LA AFN stood for racial equity and against systemic inequities. We actively work for systemic change in our approaches to advance economic opportunity and prosperity for communities of color. We view social and economic change as incremental and large scale. Our path is focused on economic security, and over the years, we have identified numerous strategies for philanthropy to advance this work.

As part of the national AFN’s mission to engage philanthropy to advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility, LA AFN believes that it is critical to address not only strategies for funding but also philanthropic practices in grantmaking to ensure that there is alignment between intentions and actions.

Earlier this year, our steering committee made a commitment to embark on a six month shared learning journey towards becoming anti-racist. Our intended outcomes are to:

  • Strengthen LA AFN members’ individual and collective knowledge on racial equity
  • Develop an equity-based shared language that creates a safe space where LA AFN members can address concerns in a manner that is intersectional and inclusive
  • Incorporate racial equity best practices within our internal structures
  • Consolidate racial equity approaches that our national AFN philanthropic partners use to remove systemic barriers to equity in funding, relationship-building, and trust of community leaders

Our goal is to walk away with a clear plan that details relevant goals, actions, and metrics for the LA AFN steering committee to consider when advancing policies and strategies to support the economic stability of Louisianans, for now and years to come.

About Jannease Seastrunk, Senior Vice President, Community Relations & CRA Officer at Red River Bank.

At Red River Bank, Jannease’s responsibilities include CRA and Fair Lending compliance and community development. Red River Bank is a Louisiana based bank headquartered in Alexandria with more than 3 billion in assets and 29 branches located throughout the state. The bank has been involved in the Bank On movement for 11 years, currently serving as coalitions members in northwest Louisiana, Baton Rouge, northeast Louisiana, and central Louisiana.

Prior to joining the bank, Mrs. Seastrunk served as the Human Resources Director for the City of Alexandria in Louisiana. However, the majority of her professional career has been in non-profit management having served as the director of both The Shepherd Center of Central Louisiana and Turning Point Battered Women’s Shelter. She is very active in her community having served as a trustee for The Rapides Foundation. She currently serves on the boards of GAEDA Revitalization Corporation, the Alexandria Housing Authority and the Louisiana Asset Funders Network. Mrs. Seastrunk received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.