The Assembly of Black Possibilities Invites Participants to Rethink Investment Practices

On Oct. 2-3 last fall, at The Assembly of Black Possibilities, a two-day convening in Boston, I ran a workshop with Tiffany Brown of NI and Chordata Capital called “Money Talks: Aligning Your Values with Investment Choices.”

We had the opportunity to share our core values, engage in “real talk” about the opportunities and limitations on saving for retirement in a values-aligned way, and share available tools on building more awareness of investments.

It was part financial literacy education, part chance to offer suggestions of ways to undermine capitalism and rethink individual and collective investment practices to help shift wealth and power toward community members.

I’ve never been to a conference quite like this. At the assembly, the atmosphere was electric because attendees knew it was an example of the type of field-building that doesn’t often happen when working in silos. It felt like a space where co-conspirators in regenerative finance could dream and freely talk about solutions centered through the values of love, interconnection, and black women leadership.

The Ujima Fund, which invited Brown and I to speak at the assembly, is a unique, democratically governed community investment fund in which clients of NI have invested. This year, the Ujima Fund hit a big milestone, officially deploying $1.3 million to impactful social businesses owned by working-class, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) communities in Boston.

In addition to running the fund, the Boston Ujima Project works year-round to strengthen an ecosystem of leaders from around the country who are working on building cooperative economic infrastructures and returning wealth back to working-class communities of color.

Overall, it was an immensely fulfilling experience. I left feeling buoyed by the exchange of ideas and connections forged during the two-day convening.

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