Celebrating Juneteenth: Advancing Equity in Lending and Beyond

As the echoes of history resonate today, the story of Juneteenth stands as a beacon of resilience and hope, marking both a pivotal moment in the fight for freedom and a reminder of the enduring quest for equity.

Just as the news of emancipation took time to reach all corners of America, the journey toward equality and equity in lending continues to unfold slowly, but steadily. In this spirit of progress and perseverance, we reflect on Juneteenth not only as a celebration of liberation, but also as a catalyst for change. 

Our mission at LiftFund has always stayed true – to provide opportunity and resources to people who can’t take a traditional route. We’re steadfast in our commitment to the strides being made in lending to those without access to capital, as well as the pivotal role of organizations, like LiftFund, in fostering economic empowerment. We’re guided by the unwavering belief that every step towards equity is a step towards a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow for us all. 

On June 19, 1865, the news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved people in Texas – more than two years after it was issued. Today, Juneteenth serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of the long and continuing journey toward true equality and justice. 

As we push for progress, it’s important to understand the difference between equity and equality. Equality seeks uniformity – everything the same. But equity addresses disparities and barriers. It takes the nuance of life and seeks to make things fair. Without equity we all miss out on the opportunity to see the full potential of our world as a whole.

One of the biggest barriers that can hold some of our entrepreneurs back is the societal debt that they carry through no fault of their own. At LiftFund, it’s our job to help recognize their value, despite that debt. So, we are in the unique position to foster opportunities to propel people forward by providing them with the resources and support they need. 

We truly believe that everyone benefits from the progress made toward equity. By creating more opportunities for people to reach their full potential, we’re not only given the gift of being surrounded by stronger, more resilient communities, but we all gain access to the wonderful businesses that may not have been, if it weren’t for someone giving them a lift. 

As we reflect on the impact of Juneteenth, we acknowledge the progress that has been made, the progress yet to be realized, and we are inspired to take a lesson from history and do our part to make sure the message of our mission reaches those who need it. 

– Laurie Vignaud, LiftFund President and CEO