Our thanks for this video and their partnership to The Chicago Community Trust. The video features Kesha Warren, who graciously agreed to share her story of paying $3400 for a $1,500 loan. It was shared earlier today in the Trust's quarterly newsletter. The newsletter also raises up work by Woodstock, Housing Action Illinois, and others to close the wealth gab by strengthening the Community Reinvestment Act.


Avoid Unfair Lending Practices: our new resource guide

Our new financial resource guide, Affordable Alternatives to Payday Loans can help people navigate different options and avoid the debt-trap. Discover ways to cut expenses or debt, find additional income, and learn about lower-cost loan options. 

The strategies in this resource guide are brought to you by New America Chicago, Heartland Alliance, Illinois Asset Building Group and Woodstock Institute.  Together we are protecting communities from abusive financial practices. 

Logos for Woodstock Institute, New America Chicago, Heartland Alliance, IABG

Prevent predatory lending & support reinvestment in Illinois!

Predatory lending has a legacy of stripping wealth from communities of color, and research shows that payday and auto title lenders still disproportionately target Black and Brown neighborhoods in Chicago. Signing the Predatory Loan Prevention Act into law, and therefore protecting the assets of people of color and people experiencing poverty, is a racial and economic justice imperative.

Creating the IL CRA will support the banking, credit, and other financial service needs of low- and moderate-income communities throughout Illinois and can have significant positive impact on the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ efforts to promote economic access, equity, and opportunity to stop systemic racism.


Predatory Loan Prevention Act Signed into Law

The Predatory Loan Prevention Act (SB1792 - PLPA), signed into law by Governor Pritzker today, marks a significant milestone for economic equity in Illinois and potentially sets the stage for other states to follow. Years in the making, advocates—including a diverse coalition of 150 nonprofits, civil rights groups, lenders, faith leaders, and elected officials—applaud the work and vision set by the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus that helped make the standard-bearing bill possible in a critical financial year for so many.

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New State Community Reinvestment Law Takes Aim at Lending Disparities

Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Community Reinvestment Act into law, making Illinois the second state with oversight to ensure equitable investment

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Woodstock plans two new Fact Books in 2021

Coming in 2021, two new Fact Books: one features 2020 Dodd- Frank Data, the other will aggregate the data from 34 years of Fact Book data to analyze long-term trends.

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Woodstock Institute Staff Statement on Racism Against Black Lives by Police in America and Recent Protests

In the past few days, we bore witness to a country overwhelmed with anger and pain. Our communities are reeling, our hearts are broken.

Today we say to our Black brothers and sisters, we hear you. Black lives matter. Black communities matter. Black futures matter.  

The brutal killing of Black people by police must end – and it must end now. We ask this in the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, and so many other Black lives that were taken at the hands of an officer whose job it was to protect and serve them. We hear community calls for police reform, and we agree: the system must change.

Woodstock Institute was founded in response to racial discrimination. Through our research and policy advocacy in the financial system, we are uniquely aware of how bad policymaking can perpetuate racial discrimination and breed inequity. We see this in the stark reminder of segregated communities throughout the country.

Our staff has taken the past few days to come together. We went to protest, to pass out food in our community, to reach out to our loved ones, to grieve, and to discuss how we can each better address racism in our own lives, in our communities, and in our government.

We will continue to advocate for the end of racist policymaking, be it through unscrupulous financial service providers, discrimination in housing, or unjust fines and fees. We hope you can join us in this fight.

Statement Issued June 3, 2020


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