How a Growing Network of Activists Works to Finance the Future

Integrated Capital Institute fellows shift the flow of capital to build economic and racial justice.

When we look back one day at how the tides of economic and racial injustice were shifted, we’ll see the handprints of a network of financial activists. Gaining in power and reach year by year, this force rising from the Integrated Capital Institute is shifting growing amounts of financial and social capital—along with control of those resources—to communities that have faced persistent exclusion and discrimination.

RSF Social Finance created the ICI in 2017 with the goal of training a diverse corps of financial advisors, investors, philanthropists and community leaders to challenge assumptions about the best uses of money, collaborate effectively with people coming from radically different contexts and apply an integrated capital approach to systemic problems. The ICI has since graduated 73 fellows—varying in age, ethnicity, location and economic background, with two-thirds of them women—from an intensive, personally demanding nine-month program.

With three cohorts completed, several interrelated themes have emerged: Systemic change must flow from the grassroots up; control must shift along with capital; cultural capital is a crucial lever; and personal relationships across identities are the key to building movement strength. These themes are playing out in fellows’ day-to-day work, as we found out in talking with several of them about their strategies for solving complex problems and the influence of the ICI network.

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