Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Music can bring generations together for connection and collaboration, inspiration and celebration. Join us as we explore the power of cogeneration by learning more about an intergenerational orchestra, big band, and choir. This hour-long event features the Heart of...

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

Just after the Oscars, I wrote about The Last Repair Shop, the 2024 Academy Award-winning documentary about four older people who repair the 80,000 free musical instruments used by public school students in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful film about a vital...

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Robert Gnaizda

Greenlining Institute
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Connecting private enterprise and underserved communities in innovative investment partnerships

In 1966, at the age of 30, Robert Gnaizda co-founded California Rural Legal Assistance to organize and empower farm workers. Five years later, he started one of the nation’s first public interest law firms focusing exclusively on minority rights. But in 1993, Gnaizda, then 58, was ready for a new challenge. Fed up with “redlining” – the illegal, yet common practice of denying, limiting, or overcharging low-income and minority communities for financial services and products – he co-founded the Greenlining Institute in Berkeley, California, to boost community reinvestment. Today the Greenlining Coalition encompasses a diverse group of 40 organizations working cooperatively to improve the quality of life for low-income and minority communities in California. The Institute has created innovative partnerships between private enterprise — banks, utilities, insurance and telecommunications companies – and community organizations. The results: tens of thousands of home mortgages and business loans for low-income people, thousands of contracts for minority-run businesses, significant increases in philanthropy to the underserved, and overall economic development and opportunity for California’s poorest communities.