Why community economic development can be used as a tool to promote equity
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Why community economic development can be used as a tool to promote equity

At the end of the day, community economic development (CED) is about equity.  The idea of “community” goes far beyond the residential block — communities set the stage for residents, families, and countless generations to grow and thrive. They encompass a cohesive, nuanced system of all things in our environment that impact our well-being: businesses,...

Program evaluation part 2: Systematic thinking to inform and enhance your evaluation process
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Program evaluation part 2: Systematic thinking to inform and enhance your evaluation process

This blog is part two of a mini-series on program evaluation. Read part one. Good intentions and reasonable approaches can’t guarantee an effective program, but systematic evaluation can help us get closer to achieving our objectives. Program evaluation is the process of investigating the effectiveness of programs in ways that are adapted to their specific...

Community leaders: 3 ways to use your federal stimulus to reduce poverty
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Community leaders: 3 ways to use your federal stimulus to reduce poverty

By Luke Forrest As we emerge from a pandemic that hit low-income workers and children inordinately hard, your community will soon deal with an injection of money that could have unprecedented impacts on eliminating poverty. As the head of a nonprofit that has worked on anti-poverty issues since 1998, I can’t state strongly enough that...

Michigan should take action to get more households banked
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Michigan should take action to get more households banked

Written by Madeleine March-Meenagh and Brian Rakovitis, CEDAM Being banked is foundational to good financial health. Without a checking or savings account, “unbanked” households pay more in fees and interest for financial products than banked households— yearly they pay up to $3,000 per household, have limited access to credit, and lack protections for their money....

Deconstruction, not demolition—the domicology movement is growing
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Deconstruction, not demolition—the domicology movement is growing

By Natalie Rogers, former junior policy associate All buildings have a life cycle, at least that is what Dr. Rex LaMore, director of the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, wants city planners to start realizing. Dr. LaMore and his team are working to advance domicology, a new way of thinking about...

Fellow Feature: Community input, collaboration helps steer Manistee
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Fellow Feature: Community input, collaboration helps steer Manistee

By Lissette Reyes, community development fellow There are many ways to determine if a community is thriving. You can look at economic statistics, social trends, employment, demographics, and a number of other determinants; but how do we measure our community pride? What about the commitment from leadership to overcome challenges and move forward? Do these...

Welcome, LEO: New state department provides momentum to tackle economic opportunity challenges
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Welcome, LEO: New state department provides momentum to tackle economic opportunity challenges

By Luke Forrest, executive director This week marks the official start date of Michigan’s newest state agency, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). It’s not an event that seems to have garnered much attention, which maybe isn’t surprising given that it’s August—it’s been more than two months since the department was first announced,...

Can we work to solve the climate crisis by fighting the affordable housing crisis? 
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Can we work to solve the climate crisis by fighting the affordable housing crisis? 

By Natalie Rogers, junior policy associate As temperatures rise, carbon emissions skyrocket, and severe weather continues to strike, cities and communities across the nation are seeking dynamic local policy solutions to combat the growing climate crisis. There is little debate that can discredit the reality that the climate is changing. According to a UN Intergovernmental...