Emphasizing racial and economic justice, JEI trains diverse leaders, from community organizers to the 1%, to shift capital and power for systemic change.
San Francisco, October 12, 2021 — The Just Economy Institute formally launches today with the announcement of a new cohort of 28 fellows who will start their nine-month program November 3. These financial activists will join an influential network of former fellows who are shifting financial and social capital to fund innovative solutions and support communities that have faced persistent exclusion.
JEI, incubated by RSF Social Finance as the Integrated Capital Institute, will provide expanded programming, resources and connections. In addition to training new fellows, JEI is developing new tools and platforms to keep the four prior cohorts and the next waves connected and amplify their impact.
“More and more people are recognizing that we need to create a just and resilient economy,” says JEI Executive Director Deb Nelson, who developed the initiative at RSF. “JEI creates a powerful engine for structural change by supporting a growing community of thinkers and doers who are designing better systems, generating community wealth and activating capital for transformation.”
Alumni Illustrate the Power of JEI Training and Community
JEI leaders have helped diverse cohorts totaling 101 fellows catalyze new ventures and collaborations; gain clarity and confidence; and build long-term, community-led strategies to create community wealth. The fellows who have announced capital commitments are moving more than $750 million into social and environmental solutions with a justice focus.
The JEI experience also creates powerful bonds among fellows, leading many to join forces and support others working to create a just economy. For example, investment advisers Tiffany Brown and Kate Poole connected in the first cohort and formed Chordata Capital, which helps inheritors design and implement portfolios with an explicit commitment to racial and economic justice. Nwamaka Agbo, Lynne Hoey, and Chris Olin of the Kataly Foundation, which moves resources to support the economic, political and cultural power of Black and Indigenous people, and all communities of color, were fellows in the first and third cohorts. All now serve as JEI speakers and connectors.
Top Impact Experts and Change Makers Lead Immersive Nine-Month Program
Fellows learn from JEI faculty, influential leaders and one-on-one advisers with expertise in social change investing, philanthropy, integrated capital, restorative economics, climate solutions, community organizing and mindful leadership.
Led by Nelson with Tina Beck as deputy director, JEI’s core team members also include Akaya Windwood, lead facilitator and leadership expert; Esther Park, integrated capital educator and expert; and Joel Solomon, social change investing expert.
The nine-month program focuses on three main areas: the inner work needed to lead effectively, the practical work of activating financial and social capital, and the collective work needed to create long-term change. Fellows expand their capacities in these areas through three in-person immersions (five-day gatherings), online classes and webinars, one-on-one sessions with advisers, creative capital projects and peer coaching.
Navigating Power, Conflict and Possibility Together: Strong Alumni Network Bolsters the Work
Because systemic change requires collective action, JEI is building out programs and tools to keep fellows connected with their cohort and meet other alumni. Initiatives in progress include an alumni gathering, a community mapping project, and online platforms enabling fellows to access tools and resources, highlight work and share news.
“The growing alumni network is a more intense focus for JEI,” says Nelson. “The work that our fellows do takes deep expertise, emotional intelligence and a network of allies to change systems that concentrate money and power with the very few. Through the alumni network, we’re building a community of leaders with shared values, goals and strategies.”
About the Just Economy Institute
The Just Economy Institute educates and connects a growing movement of financial activists who are shifting the flow of capital and power to support the well-being of all people and the planet. JEI supports a diverse group of more than 129 current and former fellows—impact investors, philanthropists, financial advisers and community organizers—with a nine-month fellowship program, alumni gatherings and field-building initiatives. A spinoff of RSF Social Finance’s Integrated Capital Institute, JEI became an independent organization in July 2021. Learn more about JEI’s work, fellows and immersive programming at https://justeconomyinstitute.org/.