Wealth = power. Power = wealth.
The above equations are at the core of MEDA’s philosophy in sharing its integrated Financial Capability model. This began as MEDA’s key generational asset building strategy in annually serving over 7,000 primarily Latino and immigrant community members in San Francisco’s Mission District, and across the Bay Area. This has grown into a training, technical assistance and grant funds program that MEDA delivers to organizations locally, regionally and across the country. The goal? Expand access to generational wealth and power building for low- and moderate-income individuals, immigrants and communities of color across the nation.
Aligned with this goal is JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is generously funding MEDA’s work to share a universally applicable model at a trio of California convenings over the next two years. MEDA’s first training, aptly named “Adelante: Moving California Families Forward with Financial Capability,” is slated for Dec. 3 in the Central Valley city of Fresno, CA. This is a prelude to the California Asset Builders’ Coalition Symposium to be held in the same location the following day. One of MEDA’s themes for these days is strategic urban-rural partnership to ensure equitable access to information, resources and universal support to organize communities across California.
This initial training will focus on technical fundamentals for various stakeholders from direct service providers to program managers to organization directors and funders; the second and third trainings will delve into organizing and best-practice exchange. Additionally, MEDA will be releasing a grant application for one-on-one training, technical assistance and implementation funds for a pair of California organizations. All trainings seek to take nonprofits out of siloed work.
Vice President, Office of Nonprofit Engagement Vera Moore of JPMorgan Chase & Co. will help kick this off in the first event’s Welcome Plenary, discussing her philanthropic and strategic perspective on the importance of investing in financial capability, MEDA’s unique value add in the field and the importance of coalition building across communities.
Explains MEDA Director of Asset Building Programs Lucy Arellano, “Our Viva Trainings offer a combination of customized trainings, opportunities for best practice exchange and calls to action across the state. Our aim is to build cohesiveness across the three regions of California — Northern California, Southern California and the Central Valley. While each region has its own needs, there is much crossover, and we need to work in coalition to sustainably move our communities forward.”
At Viva Trainings, stakeholders learn about the various strategies to move communities from surviving to thriving, such as individual income generation and advocacy. Partners learn how to coach clients to ensure that they are strengthening their own family while understanding that they are part of a bigger picture of their community’s’ generational wealth and power building. Specifically, staff learn how to support families to be better off by measuring Adelante Metrics — key financial milestones that increase opportunities to wealth and power building. Additionally, partners learn and exchange best practices around championing the story for fundraising and organizing.
A question that is universally pertinent is:
What are your life goals, and your goals for your children?
While a question that can be germane to low-income, immigrants, and communities of color is:
What is your legacy for your family, and what do you need to do to set-up the success of your family’s future generations?
Once these questions are answered thoughtfully by clients, a personalized financial action plan can be made with their coach. Coaches support community members to dream big, engage with the necessary resources and focus on their action plans to continuously move adelante. All stakeholders play a role in scaling this access, from fund development to advocacy, to community engagement.
“Across the country, including in California, there are many organizations that provide amazing Financial Capability training for practitioners and impactful direct services to families. At MEDA, we’re looking to build on this as a means to a bigger end. We see this as the vehicle for our low-income, immigrant and communities of color to empower and advance ourselves in a sustainable way for generations to come. We see this as the vehicle to overcoming the systemic, racial, and economic inequity we face in this country,” sums up Arellano.
Do you want to join this exchange to offer your expertise to this effort? Are you interested in applying for a one-on-one engagement for your organization?
This initiative is generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co., but we seek further private and public partnerships to scale and institutionalize this impactful two-generational strategy across government agencies, schools and more.
If any of the above is of interest, please contact Lucy Arellano: (415) 282-3334 ext. 141; firstname.lastname@example.org.