CEAI is committed to asset based community development (ACBD). The ABCD based community development model and only true sustainable method for community development. Communities already possess the gifts, skills, and passions to create satisfactory and stable quality of life across generations. The gifts, skills, and passions need to be revealed, connected, and community driven.
Increasing American-owned businesses is one major approach to empowering the community. Decades ago, in response to overt racism and discrimination, African Americans created havens of community empowerment and pride through ownership of small businesses. Sustained community destabilization has led to neighborhood decay and a lack of opportunities to create and grow black businesses.
Communities can, once again, build and transfer wealth across generations. Communities can create businesses for more control of their earning power, to provide for their families, and help their neighbors. CEAI will partner to with community and associations to identify, prepare, and grown black-owned businesses.
Another crucial resource for economic development is ownership of real estate. For many, home ownership is more than the American dream; it is an effective personal wealth builder. For African Americans, low and moderate-income residents, and other minorities, home ownership is often unattainable or a nightmare that impedes financial growth.
Communities need consistent wealth-building opportunities. For the benefit of families and neighborhoods, mortgage products, personal financial management training, and home ownership, ownership preparation must be mainstreamed to avoid predatory lending and foreclosures. The current focus on real estate development projects in Cincinnati has led to displacement; residential and commercial property ownership has become less accessible for African Americans.
CEAI will also focus on providing access to personal development programs so that members of the community can become the best versions of themselves. Some personal development initiatives are universal to all community members, and others need to be tailored to support individual potential.
During more empowered times, African Americans, in greater numbers, advanced their skills, trades, and education to benefit the community. CEAI will partner to provide access to work and career readiness training so that participants can take advantage of current and emerging job opportunities.
CEAI will also facilitate training to increase personal financial management skills so people can manage finances for generational benefit.
The founders and organizational leadership look forward to celebrating progressive and cumulative success.
Damon Lynch, III