5 Reasons to Be Thankful

With the 2012 IABG Conference in the bag and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we want to take a moment to give some shoutouts . For both Lucy Mullany and I, the 2012 IABG conference was our first IABG conference. We were staggered by the enthusiasm and participation by all who presented and attended and would like to thank all of you for making it such a resounding success.

5 Reasons To Be Thankful

  1. We are thankful for such a driven, energetic, and innovative group of asset building partners. The Conference highlighted how Illinois organizations and leaders have been building asset building programs that benefit their community and advocating for systems changes that increase access to the tools that create financial security.
  2. If there was one thing we learned from the 2012 IABG Conference, it is that Asset Building is not a static field and we are thankful for that. From addressing new financial products like prepaid cards which pose challenges, dangers, and opportunities to breakthrough programs like credit building loans, innovation is at work in the asset building field. Workshop attendees learned about how to create wholly collaborative Financial Empowerment Centers from the ground up, and were introduced to our very own Small Dollar Loan Calculator which helps community banks and credit unions offer safe alternatives to predatory payday loans. Innovation was a current running through the 2012 IABG Conference and we promise to always be at the forefront of this movement.
  3. We are thankful for the powerful by researchers Tom Shapiro of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, and Amy Terpestra and Lindy Carrow of Social IMPACT Research Center to help put concrete data and analysis to the faces of those caught within the Racial Wealth Gap. Their overwhelming research will help all of us educate and advocate for policies to reduce and eventually end the Racial Wealth Gap.
  4. We are thankful for Momentum. During the last session of the conference, Building an Asset Movement, we heard the most encouraging thing we could ever expect. “This should not end here. Let’s come together more often, let’s come together regionally, let’s come together on specific issues.” We are a Group, the Illinois Asset Building Group. Thank you for wanting to further the conversation, get further involved, and build on what we have already accomplished to bring greater asset building access and security to Illinois families and communities.
  5. Lastly, we would like to thank all of you who came, presented, listened, learned, and connected at the 2012 IABG Conference in Champaign, IL. Conferences are only as successful as they are useful to those who attend. We want to thank every person, every organization, every program, and every collaboration that took part, took time out of their busy schedules, and shared with others.

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