MINNEAPOLIS – June 28, 2021 Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to improve lives and strengthen communities through innovative financial solutions, is excited to welcome Gary Cunningham, President and CEO of Prosperity Now, as the newest member to its Board of Trustees.
Cunningham holds extensive community development experience, with a particular expertise in issues related to building an inclusive economy. This experience will help CRF achieve its mission and serve more people across the country.
“Gary is a true leader and pioneer in the fight for economic justice in communities where the effects of systemic racism limit opportunity,” said Frank Altman, CEO and co-founder of CRF. “We are thrilled to welcome him to the CRF Board of Trustees and look forward to working with him to fulfill our mission.”
Cunningham is a recognized and sought-after expert on racial economic equity, job creation, entrepreneurship, wealth building and public policy. Under his leadership, Prosperity Now is forging ahead to help transform broken economic systems by testing, investing, and scaling what works.
Prior to joining Prosperity Now, Cunningham spent years in the trenches working to build economic opportunity for African Americans and other people of color in the Twin Cities as President and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), where he was recognized as an innovator in minority business development. Under Gary’s leadership, Meda was recognized as the top minority business development organization in the United States for four consecutive years by the US Department of Commerce and established the largest pitch competition for entrepreneurs of color in the country, the Meda Million Dollar Challenge.
“CRF is dedicated to creative, collaborative changemaking in communities throughout the country, and I am excited to take an active role in helping guide the organization forward into a more inclusive and equitable economic environment,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham grew up in Minneapolis, Minn. and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Metropolitan State University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Cunningham also serves on a number of boards of directors, including: Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), which works to change the way capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs and opportunities for all; First Children’s Finance, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing the financial sustainability of childcare businesses; and Artspace, which sources and creates spaces where artists can affordably live and work.