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A note from the Executive Director

A note from the Executive Director

Elissa Hillary
2/10/16
Sustainable Business, Diversity

There are a lot of ways that people identify the community into which they belong – perhaps by geography, religion, cultural heritage, or shared experience. 

No matter how one identifies, mounting evidence shows that communities with higher proportions of local ownership are better off by numerous economic, social, and environmental indicators.  As an example, communities with higher proportions of local ownership have:

  • higher high school graduation rates,
  • higher employment rates,
  • higher literacy rates,
  • lower obesity rates, and
  • lower infant mortality rates.

What’s the connection?  More local owners means more diversified financial and social capital.  It means that entrepreneurs can sit on boards and donate to causes that they care about.  It means they can tackle tough challenges and find solutions. 

Local First exists to lead the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with ecosystem, and encourages joyful community life.  

We believe that in order to achieve our mission, we need an inclusive community that’s full of diverse business ownership.  This past summer, the Local First staff and boards embarked on a journey of learning more about how we as individuals, and as an organization, can be intentional in creating an equitable and inclusive community.  This resulted in the formalization of a diversity and inclusion statement and a plan for the future.  You can find out more at www.localfirst.com/diversity

Local First is strongly committed to the values of diversity, inclusion and equity as we recognize that such values strengthen our work for an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of all people.  We believe that practicing diversity, inclusion and equity enhances our membership, advocacy and mission.  

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