Monica Gonzales

Monica is an experienced strategist with over 15 years of experience in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. She is a skilled communicator and strategic thinker providing client services focused on strategies and solutions that specifically meet their needs and advance their goals. She established Vista Strategies on the principle of being transformational vs. transactional.

Prior to founding Vista Strategies, LLC, Monica directed AARP’s Office of Public Outreach where she oversaw a multi-million-dollar external giving program and managed AARP’s relationships with national stakeholders. During her tenure at AARP, she launched the AARP CEO Salon Series, a thought leader initiative that brought together over 70 leaders from the national media, the hill, think-tanks, non-profit and industry leaders to engage in a dialogue.

She is adept at managing complex issues and working collaboratively with stakeholders to influence the national conversation and pursue solutions outside of the regulatory and legislative process. Monica has received recognition for successfully leading national initiatives; she is the recipient of the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award and the Federal Bronze Medal for outstanding service for the successful negotiation of the National Headwaters Forest. She was detailed the White House under the Clinton Administration to serve on the Presidents Council for Sustainable Development managing the work of the Population and Consumption Task Force, and was an agency representative on the Federal Interagency working Group for Environmental Justice.

Monica grew up in Santa Fe Springs, California, has a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University, is a Nationals fan and enjoys spending time with her family at Nat’s games.

Josephine Pradia Rhymes

Josephine Pradia Rhymes is Executive Director of Tri-County Workforce Alliance (TCWA) since its implementation in 1996. TCWA helps bring economic and community development to a three-county region (Coahoma, Bolivar, Quitman) of the Mississippi Delta.

Josephine is also Program Director of Youth Leadership Clarksdale, a program she helped to conceive 18 years ago. She taught for many years at both the high school and community college levels and was selected for Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 1990. In 1992 Josephine received the NAACP’s Education Award and was selected Citizen of the Year for Clarksdale/Coahoma County in 1999.

Josephine’s community involvement is extensive, including current service on the District Workforce Council, Mississippi State and Regional Advisory Committees for the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI), the Clarksdale/Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce (past President), the Executive Committee of the Clarksdale/Coahoma County Industrial Foundation, Mississippi State Sector Strategy Team, and is a member of the National Network of Sector Partners Advisory Board.

Josephine received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern University and A&M College and her Master’s of Education from University of Mississippi.

Antonio Manning

Antonio Manning is Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy. In this position, Antonio manages philanthropic and corporate responsibility for Greater Los Angeles. Previously, Antonio served as First Vice President and Regional Grants Manager in Washington Mutual’s Community and External Affairs Division. In this capacity, he managed community relations and company corporate contributions in affordable housing, community development and K-12 education for California.

Manning joined Washington Mutual in 2000. Prior to this, he served as the Western Regional Director of the Fannie Mae Foundation for an 11-state region and spent four years on the program staff of the James Irvine Foundation.

Manning is an active member of the community. He is a founding member of Southern California Blacks in Philanthropy, a membership organization comprised of corporate and philanthropic executives. His other board affiliations include Affordable Living for the Aging, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Heritage Homeownership Partners, Los Angeles Business Council and Institute and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Additionally, Antonio serves on the Advisory Board for the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy, LISC – Los Angeles, and Enterprise Community Partners and the Business Take Force on Homelessness. Antonio recently served as a mayoral appointment to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Antonio is a Los Angeles native and attended the University of Southern California.

Connie Evans

Vice Chair

Connie Evans is the President and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national nonprofit organization and business trade association representing the US microbusiness development industry. AEO has nearly 400 member organizations that provide training, technical assistance and resources to entrepreneurs across the United States.

Connie’s decision to join AEO in March 2009 was a logical step in her career as a visionary leader, strategist, activist, and social entrepreneur who has founded three organizations. In 1986 she was the founding president of the award-winning Women’s Self-Employment Project (WSEP), the first and largest urban microenterprise development organization in the US and the first adaptation of the Grameen Bank Model to a US urban setting. Connie also pioneered one of the first matched savings program, Individual Development Accounts, in the country. In 2000 she founded WSEP Ventures, a social enterprise hybrid organization developed to serve as a catalyst for social change, economic development and community empowerment. At WSEP Ventures, Connie launched Capital Bridge C3, a fellowship program supporting emerging social entrepreneurs. In 2007, Connie founded CSolutions Consulting, an advisory boutique specializing in solutions that address social change.

As an international development consultant with over 25 years experience, Connie has been recognized and utilized by such groups as the World Bank, the Clinton Administration, a host of local government, private, and independent sector organizations. With international experience spanning 43 countries, Connie draws on her expertise in developing and implementing strategies to further economic development, health and social change in communities.

Connie’s broad experiences across the worlds of business and finance compliment her skills in development finance. She served two elected terms on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and was the first African American woman to hold such a position.  Evans was appointed by President Clinton to the CDFI Advisory Board, a fund within the Department of the Treasury.  She also received appointments from President Clinton, the US Delegation to preparatory meetings for the Summit of the Americas, the US Delegation to preparatory meetings for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and again for Beijing Plus Five.

As a strong advocate of good governance in nonprofits, Connie has nearly 20 years of service on philanthropic foundation boards, and serves on a number of national and international boards including the Social Venture Network. She is also the Chair of the Chicago Committee for the African Women’s Development Fund, based in Ghana.

Beatriz Olvera Stotzer


Bea is an accomplished businesswoman, social entrepreneur, visionary, and pioneer in the economic development/asset building field. As CEO of New Capital LLC, she manages multi-million dollar portfolios of affordable housing, business, and economic development. New Economics for Women, a Latina economic development non-profit, was established through Bea’s adeptness at navigating financial products. By leveraging an initial $97,000 grant into more than $280 million in investments, for single and multi-family affordable housing in low-income communities throughout Southern California; simultaneously creating business incubators and small business loan funds. She is currently spearheading the development of the Latina Wealth Index to measure wealth among immigrant Latina entrepreneurs.

With more than 30 years of thought-leadership experience, Bea has been recognized for her work on local, state, and national levels. She has served as a trusted advisor to the Clinton Administration, the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, and a host of local government, private, and independent sector organizations. As former Treasurer of UNIDOS (formerly the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)) Board of Directors, she partnered with the CEO and CFO to deliver their strongest balance sheet in 15 years. Bea currently serves as a strategic advisor or executive board member for key national non-profits, foundations, and corporations who focus on economic mobility. A lifelong advocate for economic opportunities especially for vulnerable women and families, Bea is resolute about increasing the role of women as leaders within the finance sector, and was recently appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Women and Girls Initiative Governing Council.

REPORT: Bootstraps are for Black Kids

Bootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth, and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes

A new study released today shows that—despite a close to 19 to 1 racial difference in median wealth—black parents demonstrate an outsized commitment to using their limited resources to invest in their children’s education. And that investment pays off; bringing their children to near parity in terms of educational achievement with their white counterparts.

The new study shows black families contribute to higher education with a median net worth of only 24K while white families provide support with a much higher median net worth of more than 168K.

Bootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth, and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes,” is co-authored by William Darity, Duke University; Darrick Hamilton, The New School; Yunju Nam, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; and Anne Price, of The Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

“Data on intergenerational transfers of economic resources for higher education is limited,” said Darity, co-author and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke. “However, this type of parental financial support might ultimately prove to be a decisive factor determining the racial wealth gap in the next generation.”

The study is based on the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) that found that the racial wealth gap might be one of the main mechanisms for perpetuating economic inequality. Using PSID data collected between 1982 and 2013, “Bootstraps Are For Black Kids” researchers began to investigate the relationships between parental income and wealth, parental financial support, and their child’s economic achievement. The study distinguished three types of parental financial support – support for higher education, support for homeownership, and support for “other purposes.”

Researchers found that parental financial support for education has the strongest positive association with adult outcomes among the three categories. Blacks and whites who received any parental support for education experience better outcomes than their counterparts who never received such support for every outcome examined: educational attainment, home ownership, income, and wealth.

“Black parents who are able to contribute to their child’s education are better able to transfer their own socioeconomic status to the next generation,” said Price, managing director and chief asset officer for the Insight Center. “However, it’s important to remember that while parental support for education lowers black/white disparities in education and home ownership, there is little variation in racial gaps in income and wealth.”

Despite the findings that over half of the blacks who received parental help have a graduate education, stark racial differences in both income and net worth persist. Among those who received financial support from parents, the median income is $98,066 for whites and $69,306 for blacks; median net worth is $63,000 and $35,996, respectively.

Parents of both races who are able to help fund their children’s education are better off financially, yet black parents who do so have nearly half of the income of their white counterparts. For example, the median income for white parents who provide educational help to their children is $84,597; for blacks, the median income is $43,103.

Click here to download the complete study.



REPORT: The Unmet Legal Needs of America’s Small Business Community

Today the Insight Center for Community Economic Development released a new report titled “The Unmet Legal Needs of America’s Small Business Community.” The report was prepared in collaboration with Chris Pierce-Wright, law student at the University of Washington, under the supervision of our Chief Legal Officer Brad Caftel,

The report describes the gap in meeting the need for low-cost transactional legal services, using Los Angeles and Seattle data as examples of the size of the small business community. Small businesses are an essential element to building opportunities in low- and middle-income neighborhoods, especially for historically marginalized women and minority owners. More accessible legal services for small businesses addresses a market need and serves social justice ends. The report concludes that mission-driven, low-profit law providers could play an important role in expanding this area of legal practice, bolstering local growth, and facilitating economic and social goals.

Download the full report here (0.5 MB PDF).

REPORT: Promoting Family Economic Security in the San Francisco Bay Area Region

1a9787f9-20c6-45c7-9db3-f29218f39f54At the inaugural Poverty to Prosperity Conference, Rise Together Bay Area — a collective initiative of 180+ business, government, nonprofit and philanthropic representatives — released a new report by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development with data representations from the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, titled “Promoting Family Economic Security in the San Francisco Bay Area Region.

This landmark study highlights the depth and breadth of poverty in the Bay Area in new and compelling ways, tests various types of pro-prosperity supports through economic microsimulations, and presents a set of research-grounded strategies for implementing a pro-prosperity agenda.

The report also makes available 110+ maps developed by the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, documenting levels of poverty and opportunity across the region.

Download the report here (1.6 MB PDF without appendices).

Download the full report here (18 MB PDF).

Style Guide: Winning Word for Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The Insight Center has partnered with Anat Shenker-Osorio to create a style guide that helps us use human terms about wealth accumulation and wealth inequality and speak from a model of inequality as a barrier. Anat demonstrates that communicating effectively – conveying that inequality is a product of our economic and political systems and that racism is a real factor – requires overcoming default reasoning that consequences that befall individuals are due to their efforts or traits. Most Americans have trouble seeing and acknowledging long-lasting historic crimes and existing racism. While these factors pose formidable challenges to saying what we mean and getting heard, both Alan and Anat are teaching us to be more effective in reaching our targeted audiences.

Also, you can find another language tool Anat has worked on with the Center for Community Change to launch a bold new campaign to confront poverty in America.

REPORT: Umbrellas Don’t Make It Rain

Read Umbrellas Don't Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard Isn't Enough for Black Americans

In April, Experts of Color Network Members Darrick HamiltonSandy DarityAnne Price, and Vishnu Sridharan published an important new report titled Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard Isn’t Enough for Black Americans.

This report challenges America’s egalitarian promise of opportunity and individual agency. Research and public policy have traditionally focused on education and income as drivers of upward mobility. Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain reveals that it’s the unearned birthright of inheritance or other family transfers that has the greatest effect on wealth accumulation, and likewise is the largest factor erecting barriers to wealth accumulation for people of color.

Click here to download the full report…