The Equitable Growth Fund stands at the forefront of a collective effort to ensure that every community, regardless of zip code, has access to the essential resources it needs to thrive. Our mission is simple yet profound: to identify and address the disparities in resource availability and accessibility across communities in the United States.
We envision a nation where everyone, regardless of zip code or demographic background, has equitable access to life-enhancing resources, from quality healthcare and education to reliable financial institutions and nourishing food supplies.
To actualize our mission and vision, we employ three primary data-driven tools:
- Resource Vulnerability Index (RVI) - Our RVI provides a numerical snapshot of a community's access to critical resources. It's calculated by analyzing the physical availability of key resources within a zip code and the ability of the community members to access these resources.
- Adverse Resource Index (ARI) - Our ARI quantifies resources that might harm a community's growth and well-being. This includes payday lenders or limited recreational facilities, often replacing essential resources.
- Comprehensive Resource Score (CRS) - The CRS combines the RVI and ARI, adjusting for population density and other demographic factors, to provide a holistic overview of the resource landscape in each community.
These three tools provide a comprehensive, data-backed understanding of community resource distribution and guide our decision-making processes.
Our approach to addressing resource disparity is three-fold:
- Identify: Using our analytical tools, we identify areas with either a lack of essential resources or a prevalence of adverse resources. This allows us to target our efforts where they are needed the most.
- Address: We then strategize on ways to address these resource gaps, be it through policy advocacy, collaborative efforts with our partners, or direct intervention.
- Empower: Finally, we aim to empower communities by providing them with the tools and resources to improve their own circumstances, fostering self-reliance and resilience.
Our Call to Action
We believe in the power of collective action. Our mission, while grand, is attainable through the concerted efforts of dedicated individuals and institutions. Join us in our quest for equitable growth and help create a future where resource disparity is a thing of the past. Whether volunteering, donating, or simply spreading the word, every action counts.
The Equitable Growth Fund remains unwavering in its commitment to creating a world where everyone has equitable access to resources necessary for growth and well-being. In this endeavor, we remain transparent, accountable, and dedicated to the communities we serve. We understand the enormity of our mission, but we are inspired daily by the potential for positive change. We look forward to a future where our vision becomes a reality, and we invite you to join us on this journey.
Who We Are
The Equitable Growth Fund is guided by a dedicated and accomplished board of directors deeply committed to addressing resource disparities and fostering equitable access to essential resources. Our board members bring diverse expertise and experiences, allowing us to approach our mission from multiple perspectives and ensure comprehensive decision-making.
Dr. Rickie C. Keys - Founder & President
Dr. Rickie C. Keys is a distinguished figure in data science and public health, recognized for his groundbreaking creation of the Resource Vulnerability Index (RVI). With a Ph.D. and MPH from Tulane University and a BS in Economics from Southern University, Dr. Keys' academic credentials form the foundation of his exceptional work in developing the RVI, an innovative tool that analyzes community resource constraints and transforms public health practices.
Through the RVI, Dr. Keys sheds light on resource-limited communities, offering a reliable benchmark for comparing and uncovering their challenges' intricacies. His comprehensive exploration reveals the significant factors contributing to resource vulnerabilities and devises practical strategies to address these issues effectively.
As the Founder and President of the Equitable Growth Fund, Dr. Keys leads a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and mobilizing resources for vulnerable zip codes. Additionally, he established Renewal Financial Services, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to strengthening under-resourced communities.
Dr. Keys utilizes his RVI expertise to guide policymakers, stakeholders, and organizations, delivering scientifically grounded solutions to address resource deficits in communities. His pivotal role empowers decision-makers to implement precise interventions that meet the unique needs of these populations.
With a wide range of expertise spanning public health, research, policy, and advocacy, Dr. Keys collaborates with diverse partners, including legislators, finance firms, and healthcare institutions. These collaborations have led to significant outcomes such as expanding local tax bases, creating job opportunities, and implementing impactful programs that address community needs.
As an esteemed author, Dr. Keys has published influential works that enhance the understanding of resource vulnerabilities, earning recognition from his peers. His unwavering dedication to community advancement is evident through his active participation in professional societies such as the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Rickie C. Keys' pioneering work on the RVI, extensive collaborations, and steadfast commitment to community development establish him as a leader in data science and public health. His leadership in mapping resource limitations and his proactive approach to stakeholder collaboration promise to transform communities and enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations.
Kenneth Penn - Board Member
Kenneth Penn brings over 22 years of experience in accounting, tax, and management advisory services to our board. As the managing member and principal consultant of The Pantera Group, LLC, Kenneth has made significant contributions to financial and operational review, tax compliance, and strategic planning. His expertise in providing clarity in budgeting and performance measures is invaluable to our organization, ensuring transparency and fiscal responsibility.
With a strong background in accounting and finance, Kenneth's extensive experience includes internal and external audits of various entities, from small businesses to international deal structures. As a licensed Certified Public Accountant, his insights and guidance in analyzing financial systems contribute to our strategic decision-making processes. Through his expertise, we can effectively address resource disparities and foster equitable access to essential resources, moving closer to our mission of creating a future where every community thrives.
We are privileged to have Kenneth Penn as a valuable member of our board, where his dedication, knowledge, and commitment to fiscal accountability strengthen our efforts. His contributions are crucial in advancing the Equitable Growth Fund's mission and vision.
Michele Lieber - Board Member
Michele Lieber is the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs for FactSet, a prominent data and software company in the financial services industry. With her expertise in providing strategic guidance on government and regulatory issues, Lieber has become a leading expert in achieving public policy results. Her extensive experience includes building corporate political programs, navigating regulatory challenges during times of crisis, and serving as a strategic advisor on a range of public policy matters. She has been instrumental in liaising with legislators and government officials on key business issues, making her a trusted voice in the industry.
Lieber's impressive career spans various leadership roles, including founding and running BluePoint DC and leading the Washington, DC office for Ally Financial. She has also played a crucial role in the policy strategy and legislative and regulatory leadership for General Motors Corporation (GM). With her deep understanding of complex legislative landscapes and ability to guide organizations through transformative periods, Lieber brings invaluable insights to our board.
As an esteemed board member, Michele Lieber's expertise in government affairs and public policy is integral to our strategic decision-making processes. Her successful track record and ability to navigate regulatory challenges ensure we can effectively address resource disparities and foster equitable access to essential resources. We are honored to have Michele Lieber as a valuable team member, contributing her knowledge and leadership to advance our mission of promoting equitable growth.
Andrew Morrison - Board Member
Andrew Morrison, Lord Dunrossil, is a dual national, born in London and educated at Oxford. After completing his education, he joined an international bank and moved to the United States. With his extensive experience in the financial industry, Andrew has served as the former chairman of the American Financial Services Association. Throughout his career, he has been a prominent advocate for the consumer finance industry, engaging with lawmakers, regulators, and consumer groups to represent the needs of underserved populations.
Andrew brings a deep passion for serving the underserved and those who are often left behind by larger financial institutions. His commitment to working across political divides and driving real reform aligns with the Equitable Growth Fund's mission of addressing resource disparities. Andrew's expertise and dedication to providing meaningful assistance to consumers make him an invaluable asset to our board.
As a valued member of our organization, Andrew Morrison, Lord Dunrossil, contributes his extensive knowledge and experience in the financial industry. His commitment to working with stakeholders and driving meaningful change aligns perfectly with our mission of fostering equitable access to essential resources. We are honored to have Andrew as a dedicated member of our board, working tirelessly to create a future where all communities can thrive.