The Public Finance Initiative, The National League of Cities, and Partners Secure $4 Million Grant To Foster Racial Equity In The Bond Market


Landing a $4 million grant, the Public Finance Initiative (PFI) and the National League of Cities (NLC) will lead and team up to heighten racial equity in bond markets.

The two organizations aim to do that with the Bond Markets and Racial Equity Project launch. They announced the bold effort is aimed to center equity in municipal bond-funded investments and to measure how social determinants of equity change over time.

Based on a news release, the new drive, which includes collaborating partners, is being funded with a $4 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It also aims to identify elements in a municipal bond issuance that indicates advancement concerning racial equity and income equality to investors and others.

The project team reports it will develop a range of tools for cities, public authorities, and their financial advisers to boost racial equity considerations in bond issuances.

The Excellence and Equity in Public Finance Program at the Milken Institute, the Urban Institute, the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) at Race Forward, and Urban American City L.L.C. will be the initial lead project partners. The Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership will, too, be a subgrantee.

“We have an opportunity to disrupt long-held patterns of inequality and segregation and to elevate racial equity in new arenas via a program of work that will begin by listening to issuers, investors, and other market stakeholders in national focus groups that we will convene across America,” Lourdes Germán, PFI’s executive director, stated. She will lead the effort with the NLC.

Clarence E. Anthony, the CEO and executive director at NLC added, “The Bond Markets and Racial Equity Project is a first-of-its-kind investigation into how public officials can center equity in bond issues in targeted ways that lead to improved social determinants in their communities. “Along with our key partners, we look forward to enabling more conscientious fiscal decisions, elevating bond markets as an equity vehicle, and supporting individual cities in their impact journeys.”