ASBN Live: Transformative Strategies for Moving Capital to Communities of Color


The American Sustainable Business Network and The Belonging Collaborative cordially invite you to a crucial webinar on May 29, 2024, at 1pm ET. The webinar will focus on preserving equity across the investment industry. The session aims to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in maintaining and enhancing racial equity in investing. It will emphasize the role of community capital and restorative strategies in this endeavor.

Highlights Include:

  • How community capital, raised from a broad cross-section of a venture’s community, plays a crucial role in supporting racially equitable investments and nurturing local economies.
  • Insight into the systemic barriers affecting BIPOC entrepreneurs.
  • Necessity of restorative investing practices in closing the racial wealth gap.
  • Innovative models like Diversified Community Investment Funds (DCIF) and their impact on promoting racial equity in the investment sector.

An examination of the current legal framework impacting racial equity investing, focusing on the need for vigilance and adaptability in response to evolving legal challenges. We invite you to participate in this important discussion, facilitated by Derek Peebles, Senior Director of Inclusive Economy at ASBN. Join us in our collective effort to preserve and advance equity within the investment industry. Speakers to be announced soon.

The Belonging Collaborative

Belonging Collaborative is the collaboration of six peer networks to develop a shared vision to advance racial equity across the investment industry. The Collaborative includes American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN), Confluence Philanthropy, The ImPact, Impact Capital Managers (ICM), Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), , and Toniic. The Collaborative’s mission is to create an activated global network of values-aligned investors who collaborate, inspire action, and elevate the industry best practices for racial equity investing.


Allegra Stennet

Allegra Stennett
New Majority Capital

Allegra Stennett is co-founder of New Majority Capital, an impact investing firm focused on small business buyouts by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Allegra sits on the firm’s Investment Committee and also oversees external partnerships.

Prior to NMC, Allegra completed an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management and an EdM in Education Policy & Management at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Following completion of her undergraduate studies, Allegra was a banker at J.P. Morgan in New York for 5 years. She split her time equally across the investment banking and commercial banking divisions. During her tenure, Allegra covered a variety of multi-billion dollar client relationships in the Healthcare, Industrials, Natural Resources, and Nonprofit sectors, launched a second language program to prepare 5,000 tri-state employees for international opportunities, and completed an expat assignment in London.

Allegra is a native New Yorker and currently resides in Boston.

Anandi Somasundaram

Anandi Somasundaram
Program Lead
Racial Justice Investing Coalition

Anandi Somasundaram is an independent social impact project manager, organizer and facilitator, and currently serves as the Program Lead for the Racial Justice Investing Coalition (RJI). RJI offers an introspective space for professionals working in capital markets to reckon with individual and institutional responsibility, pooling knowledge and building relationally with impacted communities to support orienting the frameworks and practices they operate under — both internally within their own organizations, as well as in their engagements with portfolio companies — towards racial equity and racial justice.

Anandi’s project management and facilitation work supports groups and organizations in building values-led, sustainable structures to support their own social impact work. As a community organizer, Anandi works primarily on issues related to economic justice and healing justice. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Anandi worked in the health/insurance technology sphere, where she honed her program design and management skills. She received her BA in Economics and Community and Global Health from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN.

Courtney Wicks

Courtney Wicks
Executive Director

Courtney Wicks has served as the Executive Director of IASJ since October 2021. Wicks is an experienced professional with proven management skills and a strong record of accomplishment in the development and implementation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies, policies, and objectives. She assumed her duties on October 18, 2021.

Courtney Wicks has 15 years of experience in the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and practices that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DE&I”). She has a track record of driving transformational change and creates meaningful impact that helps attract, retain, and engage a diverse community while building DE&I leadership capabilities across the organization.

Courtney began her career as a community organizer. She was most effective at building consensus and bridges between community organizations and institutional leadership on public policy initiatives concerning criminal justice reform, economic inclusion, environmental justice, health equity, and school equity and access. Courtney’s ability to work with diverse constituencies and translate community-based issues to government and institutional leaders landed her a Chief of Staff role within the State of New Jersey’s General Assembly.

One of Courtney’s most notable achievements was working with the Ramopough Indians leadership to galvanize support from members of NJ’s Congressional delegation and the Governor’s office for state and federal resources concerning an environmental disaster caused by Ford Motor Company’s illegal dumping on Ramapough lands. Courtney also received the Barack Obama Leadership award from the NAACP in 2014 for her work on criminal justice reform and school equity and access public policy initiatives. Franklin Walker, Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools, appreciated her assistance in the development of the Athletes’ Academy, a college readiness program for athletes across the Jersey City school district. “Courtney Wicks is an individual who can be presented with a problem, size it up quickly, and develop a solution.”

Most recently, Wicks held the position of Senior Vice President for Community Development at the Peyser Real Estate Group. At Peyser, she worked across departments to assure that the company’s real estate development projects and investment strategy were aligned with the diverse needs of communities in underinvested areas.

Courtney Wicks earned a B.S. in Business Management at Saint Peter’s University.

Michael H. Shuman

Michael H. Shuman

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. He is an Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire, where he performs economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books. His two most recent books are Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs and The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. A prolific speaker, Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years in nearly every U.S. state and more than a dozen countries.

Derek Peebles

Derek Peebles

Derek Peebles is a key figure in community economic development, currently serving as the Senior Director of Inclusive Economy at ASBN. He focuses on sustainable economic growth by fostering collaborations among businesses, residents, and institutions to leverage private, public, and social capital for transformative community opportunities. His efforts include establishing peer networks, advocating for policy changes, promoting place-based finance, and revitalizing local economies. Previously, he led an organization that supported 60 business alliances across 32 states, aiding over 50,000 small business owners, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Derek’s work involves facilitating dialogues among various stakeholders including economic developers, investors, advocacy groups, and community organizations, aiming to align investment strategies with community needs and empower local stakeholders through connected conversations and focused strategies.