Investment into communities is one of the most dominant forces in shaping lives, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and working class communities. But even mission-aligned capital is largely out of the control of those whom it affects.
There are many initiatives around the U.S. that are charting a new way for how to invest so as to shift that dynamic, placing communities at the fulcrum of control and agency.
We call this practice Participatory Investment (which we refer to in the report as Grassroots Community Engaged Investment), or the process of investing with meaningful input, decision-making power, and/or ownership from grassroots stakeholders.
Projects that feature Participatory Investment are unified by the notion that investment efforts should not happen “to” communities, but “with” them; they should respond to, address, and be accountable to the visions, needs, and aspirations of the community itself.