LISC Twin Cities Launches Developers Of Color Capacity Building Initiative

By Peter McLaughlin


A strong field of twelve developers of color has been selected for the LISC Twin Cities inaugural Developers of Color Capacity Building Initiative. This initiative will support developers of color who are working to build assets and ownership in historically low-income neighborhoods by providing financial and technical resources to complete their projects. This group of 12 brings projects that range from small to medium residential, commercial and mixed-use, to high-density residential development.

The 2021 cohort includes:

  • Bernard Robinson
  • Christopher Webley
  • Dalton Outlaw
  • Dan Coleman/PJ Hill
  • Georgia Fort
  • Ian LeCointe Alexander
  • Jamez Staples
  • Jamil Ford
  • Johnny Opara
  • Kali Terry
  • Kenya McKnight-Ahad
  • Kimberly Miller

The dual goal is to provide wraparound technical and professional network support to help get each participants’ project over the finish line and to build the long-term development capacity of the participants. The aspiration is to diversify the development field in the Twin Cities and to increase income and wealth in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

Given the strength of the bench of applicants, LISC Twin Cities was able to raise additional funding to increase the number of participants, doubling the group from six to twelve. “A review panel of mostly BIPOC community leaders and real estate professionals advised the selection process and narrowed the field of candidates,” shared Gretchen Nicholls, program officer at LISC Twin Cities. “At every turn, the momentum and energy driving this initiative has been inspiring.”

The Developers of Color Capacity Building Initiative was made possible thanks to the generosity and support of multiple funders.  

The list includes:

  • Dominium
  • Jay & Rose Phillips Foundation of Minnesota
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Sand Companies
  • Target Foundation
  • US Bank Foundation
  • Wellington Management
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Anonymous donor

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with this group of 12 developers to move their projects from the predevelopment phase to project completion,” shared Peter McLaughlin, executive director at LISC Twin Cities. “This initiative will further the effort toward transformational change to disrupt systemic racism and drive more social capital and ownership in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.”

About LISC Twin Cities

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity: great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1988, LISC Twin Cities has invested $900 million to build or rehab 17,404 affordable homes and apartments, developed 2.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space, and served over 7,500 families at Financial Opportunity Centers. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @LISC_TwinCities and Facebook @LISCTwinCities

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