Prosperity Now is a national organization that “believes that everyone deserves a chance to prosper. Since 1979, [they] have helped make it possible for millions of people, especially people of color and those of limited incomes, to achieve financial security, stability and, ultimately, prosperity. [They] offer a unique combination of scalable practical solutions, in-depth research and proven policy solutions, all aimed at building wealth for those who need it most” They offer their advocacy agenda here, believing “when advocates from across the country work together, [they] can achieve more.”
The Center for Responsible Lending “is working to ensure a fair, inclusive financial marketplace that creates opportunities for all responsible borrowers, regardless of their income, because too many hard-working people are deceived by dishonest and harmful lending practices.” At this webpage, they “aim to communicate complex issues in ways that are compelling and accessible so that policymakers and the public have the information they need to make informed decisions.” The Center is an affiliate of Self-Help Credit Union, an organization that works to build economic opportunity and wealth for all.
Raising Wages NC is a statewide resource working with local groups to raise the minimum wage in our state.
The NC Justice Center provides this fact sheet about minimum wage and its impact on our economy.
Just Economics provides a list of living wage-certified employers in WNC here.
The Economic Policy Institute “is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security. To achieve this goal, EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America. EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers.” Here are some of the resources available on their website.
Just Economics “works to educate, advocate, and organize for a just and sustainable local economy that works for all in Western North Carolina. We welcome participation in our work from all members of our community. Their 3 areas of work are Living Wage certification, policy advocacy, and grassroots leadership development.” They offer their policy advocacy efforts here.
OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling helps people achieve their money and housing goals through financial education, counseling, and support so that they can overcome crises, afford their basic needs, improve their money management skills, and make financial choices rooted in their values. Financially vulnerable clients are empowered as they build financial capabilities, learn money management skills, take self-identified action steps, and address credit barriers to socio-economic mobility and housing affordability. They also collaborate with a number of nonprofits to look at systemic and policy issues that can impact the ability of families and individuals to manage their money and credit.
Get involved: To assist with policy work, contact Celeste Collins at CelesteC@ontrackwnc.org.
The Self Help Credit Union is a nonprofit, member-owned financial institution that works to create ownership and economic opportunity for all. Self-Help is also a lender, providing fair and responsible home loans, small business loans (specializing in child care and green lending), car loans, and personal/consumer loans., especially to those without access to other lenders. In addition, the organization is locally involved in several social justice issues, including living wages, affordable high-quality child care, green energy, immigrant rights, and racial equity. An impact deposit at Self-Help, through one of their specialty certificates of deposit (Women and Children, Green, Go Local or Community Recovery) makes their work possible.
Get involved: To connect with/support their work, contact Tara Brown at (828) 239-9232, ext. 3473, via email at email@example.com, or visit one of their local branches and open an account.