Recap: Highlights From The 2024 Just Economy Conference

From across the nation, 1,200 community development leaders, practitioners, policy makers, industry professionals and NCRC members gathered at the 2024 Just Economy Conference April 3-4 in Washington, DC. They made new connections and shared knowledge on banking mergers, community land trusts,  responsible AI in lending and many other topics.

The conference featured news-making appearances on the main stage with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

Director Chopra described the need to restore strong enforcement of antitrust laws, Vice Chair Barr and Chairman Gruenberg laid out the promises and challenges of new Community Reinvestment Act rules, and Acting Comptroller Hsu described the need for fraud protections related to AI in banking.

The main stage also included a discussion on public-private collaborations, with Asahi Pompey, Global Head of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation; Aftab Pureval, Mayor, Cincinnati; Tiffany Thomas, Councilmember, Houston; and Nan Whaley, Director of Membership, US Conference of Mayors.

NCRC also made news during the conference. President and CEO Jesse Van Tol announced a $25 million agreement to work with KeyBank to resolve longstanding concerns about the bank’s lending in minority and underserved communities.

Van Tol also encouraged NCRC’s members to vigorously oppose Capital One’s attempt to purchase Discover. “Half of Capital One’s profits come from fees and interest, which means it comes at the direct expense of people who’ve been unable to repay what they borrowed,” he said. “And Capital One doesn’t luck into those revenue streams. It seeks them out – It hunts for them, in the same streets and neighborhoods where we all try to do good work every day.”

The conference followed NCRC’s annual Hill Day, where 300 NCRC members held more than 100 meetings with Congressional staff to urge action on topics of concern to the economic justice work they do in their communities every day.

The conference included 39 breakout sessions and 146 speakers who discussed bad bank mergers; innovations and opportunities in affordable housing, workforce development and small businesses; economic resilience and lived experiences; and so much more!

Session SpeakersSession: “Supercharging economic resilience through active community engagement” with speakers: Gregory Dyson, Chief Operating Officer, NCRC; Tasha Logan Ford, City Manager, High Point; William Johnson, City Manager, Emporia; and Rashad Young, Senior Vice President, Howard University.

Session photo

Session: “Equity at the intersection: Philanthropy and lived experiences in the economic space” with speakers: Sadé Dozan, Chief of Operations & Development, Caring Across Generations; Krista Scott, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Robert Dortch, Principal / Coach / Strategic Consultant, Jordan Syndor Innovation Group.

Session photo- “Blocking bad mergers: A discussion of Captial One-Discover”

Session: “Blocking bad mergers: A discussion of Captial One-Discover” with speakers: Morgan Harper, Director of Policy & Advocacy, American Economic Liberties Project; Elena Botella, Principal, Omidyar Network; Kevin Hill, Senior Policy Advisor, NCRC and Alan Pyke, Director of Communications and Managing Editor, NCRC.

In an opening ceremony to kick off the conference Wednesday morning, NCRC’s newest board member, Dave Castillo, CEO of Native Community Capital, and My-Tegia Lee, Executive Director of Southwest Native Assets Coalition, presented NCRC Board Chair Bob Dickerson with a blanket designed by graphic design artist and entrepreneur Ya’at’eeh from the Diné Nation.

Blanket ceremony

NCRC Board Chair Bob Dickerson receives a blanket from NCRC’s newest board member, Dave Castillo, CEO of Native Community Capital, and My-Tegia Lee, Executive Director of Southwest Native Assets Coalition.

At Wednesday night’s Just Economy celebration, NCRC received a symbolic “big check” to recognize a $578,000 grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant made NCRC the single largest trainer of housing counselors in the country.

4 people holding a big check

(L to R) Lisa Johnson and Belinda Fadlelmola from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) present NCRC’s Oliver Keeton and Sabrina Terry with a symbolic “big check”.

Attendees then heard New York Times columnist Charles Blow make the case for a new great migration to restore Black communities and political power in the South. The celebration ended on the dance floor and with a performance by B2wins.

Charles Blow

New York Times columnist and featured speaker of the 2024 Just Economy Conference Charles Blow.

Musical act B2Wins putting on a great show at the conference Celebration!

As crowds moved between the main ballroom and the breakout rooms, they passed through the Just Economy Pavilion, where NCRC’s research staff presented interactive displays of their work. Many stopped at the pavilion’s photobooth to snap some pics with old friends and new.

Research photo
Research Area

Attendees enjoying the interactive research pavilion!

The 2024 Just Economy Conference would not have been possible without the support of our members, speakers and sponsors! Thank you for all that you do to make a just economy a national priority and local reality.

2024 NCRC Just Economy Conference Sponsors

Goldman Sachs Logo
First Horizon Bank Logo
JP Morgan Logo
PNC Bank logo
Bank of America logo
Morgan Stanley Logo
Wells Fargo logo

Fifth Third Bank
First Citizens Bank & Trust Company
Huntington National Bank
M&T Bank
Santander Bank 

BMO Bank
Old National Bank
Regions Bank
Rocket Mortgage
Truist Financial Corporation
Umpqua Bank
Valley National Bank
Webster Bank  

Citizens Bank
First Financial Bank
First National Bank of Pennsylvania
Western Alliance Bank 

Ally Bank
Discover Bank
First Merchants Bank
Flagstar Bank
Ocwen Financial
Synchrony Bank
TD Bank 

Associated Bank
Bank OZK
BankUnited, Inc.
Charles Schwab
City National Bank
National Association of Realtors
Renasant Bank
Visa Inc. 

Atlantic Union Bank
Cathay Bank
Fannie Mae
Kresge Foundation
Radian Group
Share Our Strength
Sunflower Bank
We Stand for Service Bank
Woodforest National Bank 

Amalgamated Bank
Cadence Bank
Mortgage Bankers Association 
Oportun, Inc.
Vision y Compromiso

Photos: Courtesy of Scott Henrichsen.

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