Advancing Economic Security & Community Prosperity
Emanuel Chris Welch IL General Assembly headshot
Economic Justice Award

Emanuel “Chris” Welch
Illinois House Speaker

Introduced by George Wright SVP & Director of Community Development Citi Development Corp.
Sarah Brune headshot
Advocate of the Year Award

Sarah Brune
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Policy Director

Introduced by Marisa Novara Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Housing
Registration is open for
2022 Economic Justice Awards

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
University Club of Chicago
76 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603

We will recognize our honorees’ contributions to racial equity and consumer financial protection. We also want to celebrate YOU and your support of Woodstock Institute with hors d’oeuvres, drinks, desserts, live jazz, and plenty of time for networking.

Thank you to our sponsors (list as of 4-25-22):
Join us for a virtual brown bag on CBAs

Wednesday, May 11 at 12 p.m. (CST)
Discussion via Zoom on Community Benefit Agreements

Banks are merging at an unprecedented rate. The Federal Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA) requires that bank regulatory agencies take each institution’s record of providing financial services to their community, as well as public comments, into consideration when making a decision to approve or decline an application to acquire or merge.

As such, these applications provide an opportunity for consumer advocates, fair lending agencies, community organizations and others to have a conversation with each institution about their performance, their impact, and how they can do better. 

Roundtable Participants (from left, above):

Our panel includes experts who have relevant banking, regulatory, legal, fair housing, advocacy and policy experience – including the head of a fair housing organization that sued a large national bank for fair lending violations and the leader of a non-profit coalition that protested a bank merger that resulted in a community benefits agreement – both within the last 12 months.
WeProsper community outreach continues
with radio, digital, billboard media campaign
WeProsperIL, created by Woodstock Institute, New America Chicago and Chicago Urban League continues our community outreach.

We’ve launched a 3-month campaign that leverages multiple media streams including radio, audio streaming, social media, billboards, transit shelters, and community outreach to direct consumers to the resources available at, prompting them to share their story and inviting them to join the advocacy network.

While eliminating predatory lending was one step toward helping families avoid cycles of debt, getting people to helps provide safer options to those experiencing financial hardship. The website includes information for consumers about how they can lower their bills, secure additional income sources and find lower-cost loans.
Buy Now/Pay Later comment letter filed
In March we submitted a comment letter on the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) industry in response to a call from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

While the interest-free model of BNPL credit products can be an affordable alternative to other short-term credit options, the payment structure of the six-week, pay-in-four plans and lack of clarity around these products raise serious consumer protection concerns. Woodstock's comment focuses on a few key concerns.

Highlights and the full letter are available online.
Looking for 2019 Lending Data?

The 2019 data edition is online and print copies are available. If you’d like a printed copy, please contact Beverly Berryhill by email at And please stay tuned for the upcoming 2020 data edition later this spring.