2017 Community Economic Development Conference

Posted on December 16, 2017



By Sheila Thomas

SCLS staffers attended the 2017 Community Economic Development Conference December 6th through the 8th, at the Double Tree Historic District Hotel in Charleston. Susie Ingles, Sheila Thomas, Cliff McBride, Krystal Watson, Jennifer Rainville, and Tiffany Love were in attendance.

The annual conference is organized by the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development for Community Economic Development (SCACED), which, for the past 18 years, has convened practitioners, funders, partners, and stakeholders of community economic development to share best practices and new approaches to improving the economic mobility of low-wealth families and communities. Approximately 250 people attended the conference.

Among the interesting topics covered in various breakout sessions, Susie Ingles provided a presentation entitled “Your Financial Education Program and the Law: What You Need to Know”. Susie’s presentation had 18 people in attendance, and was very well received. Susie incorporated information from the financial empowerment tool kit acquired through our partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), during her presentation. Another enlightening presentation by the Center for Heirs Property Preservation provided new information on how owners of heir’s property can earn income beyond timber sales, once title to the land is cleared. Krystal Watson reported that the conference helped her understand the origins of community economic development. During a session on “Why the Community Reinvestment Act Matters for Community Based Organizations”, Krystal said that she realized that FDIC insured banks give grants and loans in local communities because they are mandated to do so under the Community Redevelopment Act of 1977, and not for benevolent or charitable reasons.

SCLS attendees reported that they made new and important contacts with members of community development organizations, some of whom SCLS currently work with, and others whom they would like to work with.

A partnership between SCLS and SCACED would definitely be mutually beneficial to both organizations in order to further improve economic development for low-wealth people in South Carolina.

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