The Open Access Fellowship first launched in the Fall of 2021 as an initiative sponsored by professionals Gina Nisbeth, formerly of CitiBank, now of 9th & Clinton and Jeff Monge of Monge Capital. The initiative was created by advocates in the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) industry to increase diversity representation in community development finance. Our initiative focuses on increasing Black & Latinx representation within the community development companies that serve their communities. Our premise is that the community development industry concentrates much of its efforts in minority communities across America, yet within the industry there is gross underrepresentation by Black, Latinx and diverse professionals at all levels. Organizations working in these communities, therefore, may lack the proper cultural lens to understand how to best serve those communities.
Our objective is to increase the representation of diverse professionals at all levels, including (but not limited to) accounting, legal, finance, consultancy, and development. Our goal is to lead by example and exhibit best practices within an industry that is dedicated to improving the lives of under-resourced and underrepresented communities nationwide. We intend to train talent that will go on to serve communities that have been disproportionately affected by historical disenfranchisement for many years.
Applications for the 2023 Open Access Fellowship program open November 4, 2022 and close November 17, 2022.