President Bill Clinton Visits Cooperativa La Sagrada Familia
Inclusiv is part of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery
For Immediate Release
During his visit, Clinton learned about Sagrada Familia’s community development projects, including the Oasis Project, a resiliency center in development in the rural town of Naranjito that aims to serve over 128,000 residents of the towns of Corozal, Naranjito, Barranquitas and Comerio. Clinton also engaged in conversation with graduates of Sagrada Familia’s business incubation program that provides counseling for entrepeneurs launching and developing local businesses. Other community impact projects focused on the promotion of renewable energies and the development of low-income housing.
President Clinton expressed his admiration for the impact of financial cooperatives and CDFI’s in the communities they serve: “I wish everyone could see the impact of CDFIs. What we need now is to channel more investments to support this work of economic revitalization and financial inclusion. People of moderate and low economic resources need the kind of financial tools that this commitment provides," said Clinton.
“President Clinton appreciates that Sagrada Familia and financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico have empowered vulnerable communities, which is critical to making them more resilient and sustainable," said Pablo De Filippi, SVP of Membership and Network Engagement at Inclusiv.
“Investing in our communities has resulted in constant growth for our cooperative," said Eddie Alicea Saez, Executive President of Sagrada Familia and President of the Board at the Asociación de Ejecutivos de Cooperativas (ASEC), an association of cooperativa executives throughout Puerto Rico. Alicea is also the first representative from a financial cooperative to be a member of Inclusiv’s Board of Directors. "We are representative of the cooperative movement, educating and promoting financial inclusion and the economic revitalization of our communities. We are thankful of the support Inclusiv has provided to amplify our community impact. We also thank President Clinton for this historic visit that will help increase the awareness of the incredible work that our financial cooperatives carry out in the communities we serve."
In 2018, the Clinton Foundation and Inclusiv signed the Puerto Rico CDFI Initiative Commitment to Action. Inclusiv has been working to transform the financial cooperative sector in Puerto Rico to more effectively deliver financial inclusion and economic revitalization. Inclusiv’s approach includes the promotion of CDFI certification and channeling resources to expand the sector’s community development initiatives. With the support of its partner ASEC, Inclusiv has facilitated three local convenings that provided technical assistance for financial cooperatives to become CDFI certified and gain access to CDFI Awards. Since the launch of the initiative, eight cooperatives have become CDFI certified, with Sagrada Familia the first to receive the CDFI certification. Twenty-two financial cooperatives received CDFI awards totaling $3.5 million in capacity building dollars from 2018 to 2019.
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At Inclusiv, we believe that financial inclusion is a fundamental right. We dedicate ourselves to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. We provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for our member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve nearly ten million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US and hold over $112 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, Inclusiv is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in Madison, WI and Atlanta, GA. For more information about Inclusiv visit us at Inclusiv.org and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.