Team Category: 2011 Communications Institute
2011 Communications Institute
The Opportunity Agenda conducted its second annual Communications Institute, which brings together diverse social justice leaders from around the nation for four days of intensive media skill-building and communications support. The focus was economic opportunity, with an emphasis on the disparate impact of foreclosures in communities of color and housing finance reform. The sixteen dynamic, knowledgeable, and talented leaders who were selected to be 2011 Institute Fellows committed to refining their communications skills and using them to expand opportunity for all.
The 2011 Communications Institute was made possible, in part, by the generous contributions of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Public Welfare Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Frank Sica.
The Institute combines intensive media training and follow-up support with aggressive placement of Fellows in mainstream, ethnic, and online media. Immediately after the Institute, the Fellows attracted significant media attention on topics ranging from foreclosures, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to job creation, to the debate over inequality catalyzed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They have well over 100 media appearances since the Institute, including op-eds in The Miami Herald, The Hill, and dozens of other newspapers around the country, as well as more than 60 radio interviews, reaching audiences in the tens of millions. And in collaboration with New America Media, they briefed ethnic reporters on the implications of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for ethnic communities.
The Fellows continue to use their Institute skills to reach a broad audience and convey a shared, compelling story about Home Opportunity in America. Together, they are raising the profile of the disparate impact of foreclosures in communities of color, highlighting the need for equitable reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and promoting effective, concrete solutions.
Fellows quotes post-training include:
[O]verreaction threatens to close the door to homeownership for millions of hardworking, responsible families. … This is both unfair and unwise. … If this dream dies, a big piece of America will die with it.
Preeti Vissa, “Killing the American Dream with Dangerous Myths,” The Miami Herald, October 17, 2011
Homeownership really was the ticket to the middle class. There’s a reason why it’s a central pillar of the American Dream. It was an incredible force for many people to build wealth and to become part of the middle class. People use their home equity to send their children to school, they use their home equity to fund their retirement, and they use their home equity to do those things to plan for unexpected occurrences that helped people maintain stability in their lives and to have that middle class lifestyle.
Jesse Van Tol, KCBX – An Evening With…, September 23, 2011
Now that the nation is getting ready to repair its roads, highways, bridges and airports, it’s time to strengthen federal transportation legislation to increase the workforce hours and funds allocated for minorities, women and the disadvantaged and to expand on-the-job training, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
Ana Garcia-Ashley, Kansas City Star, October 13, 2011
Meet the 2011 Fellows
Graciela AponteSenior Legislative Analyst, National Council of La Raza
Graciela Aponte provides legislative analysis and advocacy on affordable homeownership, foreclosure prevention, and credit scoring for the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Aponte’s expertise is in housing policy, housing counseling, barriers to Latino homeownership, predatory lending, credit...Get To know Graciela
Algernon AustinDirector of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy Program, Economic Policy Institute
Algernon Austin directs the Economic Policy Institute’s program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy (PREE). PREE works to advance policies that enable people of color to participate fully in the American economy and to benefit equally from gains in prosperity. As Director of PREE, Austin oversees reports and policy analyses...Get To know Algernon
Nikitra BaileyExecutive Vice President, Center for Responsible Lending
Nikitra Bailey directs the Center for Responsible Lending’s outreach and educational efforts to national and locally based organizations and provides technical assistance to policymakers on state and federal anti-predatory lending initiatives. Bailey originally joined the CRL as a policy associate after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law....Get To know Nikitra
Flozell Daniels, Jr.
Flozell Daniels, Jr. has served as the President and CEO of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), now the Foundation for Louisiana, since December 2007. Its mission is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide. Prior to LDRF, Daniels...Get To know Flozell
Jane DuongDirector of Programs & Advocacy, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Jane Duong is currently the National Housing Program Manager for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD). At National CAPACD, Duong directed the development and implementation of the first HUD-approved comprehensive housing, foreclosure and financial education network focused on the needs of low- and moderate-income Asian American...Get To know Jane
Jordan EstevaoDirector, Save the American Dream Campaign, National People's Action
Jordan Estevao is the Director of National People's Action's Bank Accountability Campaign, a national effort to mobilize communities throughout the country in the fight to hold banks accountable. He was the lead organizer of the 2009 Showdown in Chicago that included three days of direct action targeting the American Bankers...Get To know Jordan
Ana Garcia-AshleyExecutive Director, Gamaliel Foundation
Born in the Dominican Republic, Garcia-Ashley was just four years old when she began canvassing in a rural village as part of a public safety campaign headed by her grandmother, a neighborhood activist. After the assassination of Rafael Trujillo, she and her family fled the political violence in the Dominican...Get To know Ana
Deborah GoldbergDirector of Special Projects, National Fair Housing Alliance
Deborah Goldberg is a Special Project Director with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). Since 2005, she has led NFHA’s work on equitable rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes. Goldberg has also been involved in NFHA’s public policy work on financial services issues,...Get To know Deborah
Sarah LudwigFounder, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)
Sarah Ludwig founded NEDAP in 1995 and has worked with hundreds of grassroots groups to organize and advocate for community equity and financial justice. In 2000, she co-founded the coalition, New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, which has secured major policy reforms in the financial justice and foreclosure prevention arenas. Ludwig...Get To know Sarah
C. Nicole MasonDirector of Research and Policy Initiatives, National Council for Research on Women
C. Nicole Mason has worked in advocacy and public education at the local, state and national levels with a special focus on women and underserved communities for the last 13 years. In her research and writing, she continues to investigate the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and other markers...Get To know C. Nicole