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Why public investment needs to be reimagined

Research demonstrates that the processes for infrastructure investment play a significant role in creating and then perpetuating racial disparities and inequitable systems. Decision-making is frequently top-down with local and state governments unilaterally determining what communities and what projects to invest federal and other public dollars in – often failing to adequately address the needs of those jurisdictions that are under-resourced.

Due to the passage of several historic bills, today we have:

  • Dedicated and unprecedented federal investment in community infrastructure
  • Multiple projects underway to organize system players and streamline resources
  • Unique opportunity to close persistent racial disparities in life outcomes for Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/x people

…and yet, under the current public investment processes:

  • Projects are discrete, siloed, lack shared goals and ecosystem for long-term impact
  • Existing inequitable systems are reinforced and/or supplemented
  • Despite significant dollars and activity, the absence of a deliberate, coordinated racial equity strategy in the deployment of public investment is likely to result in wider gaps for generations to come

Without the wisdom of the most impacted communities’ lived expertise and their participation in decision-making, our country will fail to meet its promise for a growing segment of the population. Creating the space for productive conversations and learnings, and providing access to the resources and ideas from those closest to the challenges will benefit every community, municipality and government-led institution seeking to transform systems through public funds and investment.

Learn more about how we drive impact.

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What We Do

PERC works to create a network of cities that are equipped with the political, financial, and social capital to trailblaze a path toward building wealth and wellbeing for Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/x communities.

Our unique, participatory model facilitates learning, communication and partnership between government agencies, communities, businesses and philanthropy. We work with cities to strategically form and activate powerful cross-sector coalitions that center the voices and expertise of Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/x communities, deliver measurable and results-based outcomes, and ultimately, reimagine the decision-making process for investment, implementation and long-term impact of public funds.

Why justice venture?

In the absence of existing models for reimagining public investment through the lens of racial justice, we developed the justice venture concept – a new equitable business model for consensus-building, facilitation, activation, planning and implementation of public investment and funding practices that centers historically excluded communities as active participants, leaders and trailblazers in the economy and social fabric of our country.

Participating communities will receive

Up to $5 million for each site over 3 years (from local funding matched by national philanthropy) to provide communities with the support, staffing, and expertise to compete for public grants, to develop plans, to advance and execute strategy collectively once they’ve received the investment

Technical assistance and facilitation to support the process of collaboratively identifying priorities, developing implementation plans and integrating federal funding with local, state and private support

Targeted support to bolster community-based organizations’ capacity, hire staff, compensate community participants for their time, design and launch projects and small pilots that are in support of the shared goals and vision

Access to a capital/credit enhancement pool to jumpstart projects

Strategic communications support like media training to help communities shape the narrative in their cities

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Join Us

Are you interested in becoming an active participant in PERC’S transformation process of centering racial equity in public investment? Let’s partner!

Contact us.