AAMA’s New Racial and Economic Justice Policy Institute

Published on January 31, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC Today, the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) announced an award from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will in part support the development of a first-of-its-kind racial and economic justice policy institute for mayors that will focus on supporting entrepreneurs in cities.

The institute will support the training of newly elected mayors including an initial cohort of 10-15 mayors. Participating mayors will represent communities from 500 people to over 1 million and will work with AAMA to utilize information, training and network connectivity to enhance their executive capacity for the benefit of their local citizens.

“I am incredibly excited about our new engagement with the Kauffman Foundation. Their generous support will help ensure that mayors are equipped to engender thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country," said Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta, Ga. and President of the African American Mayors Association. “Only 1% of venture capital dollars went to African-American and Latino founders in 2016. That is one of many systemic barriers to success for entrepreneurs that our institute will seek to address.”

"Thank you to the Kauffman Foundation for this extraordinary investment in mayors and cities across the country,” said AAMA Executive Director, Stephanie Sykes. “As we witness more African American mayors taking the helm of cities of all sizes, it is essential for AAMA to expand its leadership role in modeling best practices for local governance. I look forward to working with the Kauffman Foundation to develop impactful and innovative content and tools to help mayors be effective advocates for entrepreneurs in the cities they represent."

The Kauffman Foundation, named for entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Kauffman, works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to increase opportunities that allow all people to learn, to take risks, and to own their success.

“We are thrilled to engage with AAMA in their work to eliminate barriers to economic prosperity through entrepreneurship and education,” said Evan Absher, Senior Program Officer, Kauffman Foundation. “Mayors get things done and we look forward to working with them in building more robust and representative local economies for all communities.”


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