Atlanta Nonprofit Wins National Grant to Bring Economic Equality to Low-Income Communities

ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) today announced that Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), an Atlanta-based nonprofit that empowers low-income communities across Atlanta metro through just and sustainable practices, will receive its 2016 Justice Grant. OFN, a national network of community lenders, presents the Justice Grant each year to an organization whose mission supports economic, political or social justice in the U.S.

Atlanta is still recovering from the 2008 economic downturn. Employers are slow to hire, banks are unwilling to lend and many families are living paycheck to paycheck. Housing and transportation costs aren’t making things any easier. In some Atlanta metro counties, over 75 percent of residents are spending 30 percent or more of their income on housing. Nearly all of those residents are spending 18 percent or more of income on transportation.

PSE aims to level the economic playing field for all Atlanta residents through a coalition-based model that draws on the strengths and knowledge of individuals and organizations within the communities. By convening local experts and key decision-makers around issues pertaining to diversity, transportation, energy and the economy, PSE helps empower historically disinvested, low-income communities to advocate for change.

“Economic inclusion among all people is very important, especially in today’s society,” said PSE’s Founder and Chief Equity Officer (CEqO) Nathaniel Smith. “Too many communities in Atlanta are struggling to make ends meet. Thanks to OFN’s Justice Grant, we can support our coalition model in new communities and give a voice to those who otherwise would not be heard.”

“Justice isn’t only about fighting for those who need it. It’s also about giving the people facing injustice the resources they need to speak up and advocate for themselves,” said Francis A. Lutz, interim CEO at OFN. “Partnership for Southern Equity has made a huge impact in bringing greater equality to Atlanta and with this award, they’ll be able to give more communities a chance at a better future.”

OFN will present this year’s Justice Grant Award to PSE on Wednesday, October 26, during OFN’s annual Conference taking place in Atlanta. PSE’s Nathaniel Smith will accept the award and give a brief speech. To learn more about the conference and see a detailed agenda, please visit

About Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE)

Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) pushes for policies and actions that promote equity and shared prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta. Through forums, research, and organizing efforts, PSE brings together the regional community to lift up and encourage just, sustainable, and civic practices for balanced growth and opportunity.

About OFN

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the leading national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) investing in opportunities that benefit disinvested communities across America. Through 2014, OFN's network originated over $42 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities, with a cumulative net charge-off rate of less than 1 percent. For more information, visit

Contact: Lesley Amy 610.228.0915

Source: Opportunity Finance Network