Community Conversation with Dr. Michael Fine

“I think a lot about the Old Testament and the ten plagues. For me, Moses was the first and best community organizer.” This is the kind of thing that comes up when two community organizers get together.  Local Return director (and community organizer) Raul Figueroa sat down with family physician, author, and long-time organizer Dr.…

Join us for Local Investment 101!

Rhode Island’s small businesses have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns. As we plan for the revival of our businesses, our economies, and community life, local investing is one potential solution.  That’s why Local Return is hosting Local Investing 101, a workshop series with Community Economist Michael H. Shuman, author of five…

Community Conversation with Jazandra Barros

“It’s really amazing to me to see how much folks are growing sometimes on very small pieces of land,” noted Jazandra Barros, Community Outreach Coordinator for Southside Community Land Trust.  SCLT would know. They’ve been around for 40 years, building infrastructure for urban gardens and farms. Jazandra spoke with Local Return director Sue AnderBois about…

Community Conversation with Eva Agudelo

Eva Agudelo, founder and executive director of Hope’s Harvest RI, joined Local Return director Jessica David to talk about the importance of a strong local food ecosystem. Hope’s Harvest mobilizes volunteers to recover surplus food from local farms and distributes it to local hunger relief agencies. The organization has expanded rapidly over its three years,…

Community Conversation with Andy Posner

Andy Posner, president and CEO of the Capital Good Fund, joined Local Return board member Jessica David to talk about the lessons he’s learned over 12 years of providing an alternative to predatory payday loans. Capital Good Fund has saved clients an estimated $5.5 million, and borrowers increase their credit scores by an average of…

Guest commentary: The Economic Progress Institute

 For local communities to fully reclaim finance as a tool for generating prosperity, we must remove the obstacle of payday lending. Disproportionately concentrated in majority Black communities, payday lenders like to claim they are providing much-needed funds to people who have no other recourse. This claim is wrong on two counts. First, payday lenders are…

Guest commentary: Jo Detz, ecoRI News

When I read your call to action, I immediately thought of South Providence and the consistent disinvestment in that community, which is bearing the brunt of many polluting businesses along the Port of Providence. There has been much attention to environmental racisism, equity, inclusion, and equitable solutions at the city level with respect to communities…