White House Honors DC Women’s Business Center’s Samira B. Cook-Gaines

Washington, DC   On Wednesday, March 7, the White House honored Samira B. Cook-Gaines, Director of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DC WBC) as a Champion of Change, a tribute bestowed this week on local community leaders who pave the way for small business growth through entrepreneurial mentoring, counseling, and training.

John Taylor, President and CEO of NCRC, made the following statement: “In her work providing valuable mentoring services to small businesses, Samira contributes to an important nationwide effort to sustain and advance opportunity for women and minority-owned businesses across America. We congratulate Samira for her diligent efforts and the valuable contributions she has made toward sustainable economic growth in the Washington, DC region.”
“Entrepreneurial mentors help American business owners fulfill their dreams every day,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns in a statement. “Mentors volunteer their time to provide the counseling and expertise that small business owners need to succeed and create jobs.  In turn, entrepreneurs and small businesses support their local economy and provide goods and services to their neighbors.  These mentors are true Champions of Change, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate their success.”
The Champions of Change program, part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative, recognizes educators, entrepreneurs, and local community leaders for contributions made toward community sustainability. “There’s a great big business world out there to conquer and I am proud to help women entrepreneurs lead the way,” Cook-Gaines wrote on the White House’s Champions of Change Blog. “Being named a “Champion of Change” is humbling, yet it is also a confirmation that the time and effort put forth for small business is an investment that will impact the nation for years to come.”
Cook-Gaines, who has worked to enhance community economic development throughout her career, serves as the Director of Washington, DC Women’s Business Center, a program funded by the Small Business Administration. At DC WBC she is responsible for providing women entrepreneurs with the knowledge to create stable business foundations and growth through training and technical assistance. The DC WBC conducts seminars, workshops, and one-on-one consultations to train, counsel and establish access to capital and procurement opportunities for women-owned businesses. Since the DC WBC’s founding in 2010, 20 new businesses have been developed, and over 80 new jobs have been created.
In addition to the Washington DC Women’s Business Center, NCRC also operates Minority Business Centers in Washington, DC, New York City and Houston. This growing suite of programs helps women and minority entrepreneurs to obtain the skills, knowledge and access to capital and financing they need to succeed.
About the Washington, DC Women’s Business Center:
The Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DCWBC) is a business development organization that serves women entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC Region. The DC WBC provides training and consulting to assist in the growth of women-owned businesses in federal procurement opportunities. For more information, please visit http://www.dcwbc.org/


About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.  


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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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