DC Women’s Business Center director Heidi Sheppard named to board of the Association of Women’s Business Centers

The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) has named Heidi Sheppard, Project Director, DC Women’s Business Center (DCWBC) as the new board member of the AWBC board of directors. At the DCWBC, Ms. Sheppard leads a team of specialists to achieve their vision of a thriving ecosystem of women entrepreneurs in the DC Metro region who have access to the tools, capital, knowledge and networks to create a supportive environment in which to grow their businesses.

As a new board member of AWBC, Ms. Sheppard brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the AWBC board and looks forward to further strengthening AWBC’s knowledge and resources in serving women-owned businesses. 

“I am honored to have been voted onto the AWBC Board of Directors and am looking forward to contributing to and serving the Women’s Business Center community,” Ms. Sheppard said. “I hope to be an asset to the furtherance of the AWBC mission and pledge to provide my expertise to support Women’s Business Centers around the country.”

“The Association of Women’s Business Centers is thrilled to have Heidi Sheppard on our board of directors,” said Corinne Hodges, CEO of AWBC.  “Heidi’s lifelong dedication to economic development, women-owned businesses, and entrepreneurship, and her prior experience, will bring a unique perspective to the AWBC board. We are thrilled that our new board will provide diverse perspectives that will enable us to strive towards our mission to support women-owned businesses across the nation. Ms. Sheppard’s addition to our board, among other new members, is representative of the AWBC’s ever-expanding capabilities to serve women-and minority-owned businesses nationwide.”  



The DCWBC (www.dcwbc.org ) provides a wide-range of services, including free one-on-one business counseling, group training events, and peer-to-peer exchanges to help entrepreneurs start, expand, and successfully manage their businesses. These services are targeted to women entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC, metro region, who are economically or socially disadvantaged and whose businesses are located in underserved communities. The center is funded in part by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and is a program of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) NCRC launched the DCWBC in March 2010. 

About AWBC 

AWBC (www.awbc.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1998 to support the national network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) with programming and advocacy. Each year, our members leverage WBC grants to operate more than 138 locations throughout the United States. WBCs have more than 25 years of success in providing business training, counseling, mentoring, and access to capital to women entrepreneurs. The WBC program is a public-private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

About NCRC

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business. NCRC was formed in 1990 by national, regional and local organizations to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. NCRC has grown into an association of more than 600 community-based organizations in 42 states that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families. More: www.ncrc.org

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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