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PAB Make Site Visit to Organizations Serving People in Need in Detroit

August 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – Many people might write off Detroit as a “lost cause” because of the well-known poverty and violence afflicting this town. However, Lura Mack and Kristine Cooper, director and executive assistant, respectively, of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), spent a day visiting a variety of organizations that have made a difference for the individuals and communities in this troubled city.

For more than 40 years, the PAB has helped the Adrian Congregation to use its financial assets to further the values of the Gospel in the economic realm, through the wings of corporate responsibility and community investment. During a recent tour of Detroit hosted by IFF Detroit. The PAB has granted low-interest loans to IFF Detroit for its work, in turn, in lending to organizations that “create opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities.”

During the tour, Lura and Kris visited three organizations that have received low-interest loans from IFF Detroit:

  • The Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHCD), begun in 1979 by Angela Reyes in response to the violence in her community, serves more than 5,000 low-income people. DHCD’s first initiative was the Gang Retirement and Continuing Education and Employment Program (GRACE),which helps gang members to turn their lives around and work in local Hispanic-owned manufacturing companies.  The organization also provides bilingual support, child care support, community organization, and advocacy to bring about a change in policies that affect the people in the local community. Through a loan from IFF, the organization was able to refinance its existing debts.

  • Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation (CDC), founded in 1994 by six local churches, provides people in the community with positive opportunities through education, employment, and economic development. The CDC purchased 11 businesses and now operates eight of them to create jobs and provide needed goods and services. A loan from IFF helped to cover renovation costs for a vacant church that now serves as CDC’s home.

  • Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) Youth Program, founded in 2007 by Carlo Sweeney, helps urban boys and girls to develop good citizenship through a “demanding boxing program, strong academic support, and volunteer work.” Children in the program – ages seven to 18 – receive tutoring, mentoring, physical training, transportation, and a daily meal and, in turn are required to continue improving their academic performance. The loan from IFF allowed DBG to renovate a vacant building to provide services to more youth. 

“The trip reminded me of the ‘bus trips’ the Adrian Dominican Sisters used to provide when they first began doing this work as a way to educate the members about where their dollars were being invested in the community,” Lura said. “What a great experience and inspiration to see first-hand how the investment dollars are being used to benefit these organizations as they provide creative opportunities and hope to individuals.”


Lura Mack (third from left) and Kris Cooper (fourth from left) with staff members from the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

Adrian Dominicans’ Portfolio Advisory Board Offers Day of Education, Open to Public

September 8, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – The public is cordially invited to attend all or part of a special Education Day, offered by the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB). The program will open with a welcome by PAB Chair Dee Joyner, an Adrian Dominican Associate, at 9:00 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2015. It will be held in the auditorium at Weber Retreat and Conference Center at the Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive and also livestreamed through our website at www.adriandominicans.org/LiveStream.aspx.

The program will involve presentations by guest speakers on a variety of issues and social service programs.

Sarah Power will speak from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., addressing the issue of human trafficking. She is the corporate citizenship manger of Con-Way, a leader in freight transportation and logistics.

Pat Zerega will speak about climate change from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. She is the senior director of shareholder advocacy for Mercy Investment Services, which addresses environmental, social, and governance issues through shareholder advocacy.

Charles Hammerman, president and CEO of Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), will speak from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. on supportive housing. DOF, which receives a low-interest loan through the Community Investment Committee of the PAB, in turn finances creative solutions for people with disabilities and their families.

James Balmer, president of Dawn Farm, and Charles Coleman, coordinator of the Chapin Street Project, will also speak on supportive housing and programs from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. Chapin Street Project is a transitional home for recovering addicts who have completed the recovery program at Dawn Farm in Ann Arbor. Dawn Farm is also a partner with the PAB.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the PAB, established as an enactment of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ 1974 General Chapter. The PAB was initiated to help the Adrian Dominican Congregation to align its investments with Gospel values and to monitor those investments.

The PAB works for economic justice through two components. Corporate Responsibility uses shareholder advocacy to ensure that corporations adopt business practices that work toward the common good in such areas as just labor practices and environmental sustainability. Since 1976, the Congregation has collaborated in this area with other faith-based organizations through the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.

Through its Community Investments arm, the PAB makes low-interest loans to non-profit community organizations that benefit low-income people and underserved communities. During the past 40 years, the PAB has made loans totaling $28 million – at a 98 percent return rate. In many cases, the PAB’s faith in untried community organizations has encouraged other faith-based organizations to invest in them.  

View/print a flier for the event (pdf)



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