Transform Finance Local Institutes For Social Justice Leaders

“Transform Finance’s approach helped me realize I knew more about the financial system than I thought. I always considered it to be intimidating. For me, the Institute did a great job distilling the current system, infusing social justice goals, identifying current resources and re-imagining future possibilities.”

Nedra - 2019 Atlanta Institute participant

Based off of Transform Finance’s flagship training, but tailored by local champions, practitioners, and participants, the Local Institutes start community leaders and their cities on the path to reclaiming finance for social justice. Over the course of two days, participants learn fundamentals of finance within a social justice context, hear from local practitioners infusing social impact into engagements with capital, and collaborate among themselves to begin including capital as a tool in their toolboxes for real, transformative social change in their communities.

Local Institutes are an opportunity for social justice practitioners to explore the role of capital in their work in a way accessible for those not familiar with and/or historically excluded from finance. In addition to supporting social justice practitioners, by intentionally partnering with local champions, the Local Institutes also serve as a convening space to facilitate uncommon and needed conversations/collaborations among those in your local ecosystem.

Cincinnati Institute - Cincinnati, OH - April 2019

Cincinnati is at the heart of some of America’s most exciting community and economy development, according to local champions Derrick Braziel (MORTAR) and Kristen Barker (Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative). The Institute will build on the pioneering work already being done by the local community around social entrepreneurship and socially-conscious funds by exploring new economic tools and unlocking potential for underserved Cincinnatians.

Phoenix Institute - Phoenix, AZ - March 9-10, 2019

Phoenix continues to experience displacement in communities that have been marginalized for decades. Moreover, new investment is accelerating inequality and nonlocal land ownership. Despite these strong headwinds, communities are fighting for social justice by combating predatory lending, offering micro-loans for local entrepreneurs to generate local wealth, and increasing homeownership for people of color, according to local champion Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona Foundation.

Along with other local champions, Katelyn Harris-Lange of the African-American Women's Giving and Empowerment Circle and the Vitalyst Health Foundation, we are thrilled to bring the Institute to Phoenix so the city and its community members can keep innovating around finance for social justice.

Atlanta Institute - Atlanta, GA - February 8-9, 2019

Atlanta is full of community organizations that are hungry to attract the capital for programs, jobs, and developments to grow their neighborhoods in a just and equitable way, according to local champions Nikishka Iyengar and Melonie Tharpe (The Guild). But despite (or perhaps because of) the prevalence of finance and banking in the city, Atlanta is still in its early days of impact investing and including communities in the conversation around capital flows. With The Guild, as well as local champion TransFormation Alliance, we are hopeful the Institute will catalyze the process of dozens of community organizations engaging with finance as a tool for social justice.


If you are interested in bringing Transform Finance to your city for a Local Institute, please contact Eric at for more details.

This work is made possible through the support of the Surdna Foundation.