At Woodstock Institute, we work to advance economic justice and racial equity within financial systems through research and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. Woodstock Institute envisions a society where all people experience economic security and prosperity.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the deadline to submit comments on newly released Illinois Community Reinvestment Act, IL CRA rules would be extended to March 16.

The agency will also hold three public hearings on the rule in early March, where our Illinois CRA Coalition plans to share the advocate and community perspectives on the rules at those hearings – especially the need to infuse implementation with a racial equity lens.

In the meantime, Woodstock has submitted its comment letter, noting that "Considering the absence of race in this NPR, it would seem that there is a disconnect between the legislative intent of the IL-CRA and the law’s proposed implementation and enforcement."

Read our comment letterRead the proposed rule

Our panel including lenders and policy experts shared information about alternatives to predatory loans.

Watch on our YouTube page


This lunch and learn continues a series for community leaders and lenders, policy experts and others on the topic of redlining, beginning earlier this year with the (somewhat provocatively titled) Bank / Community Benefits Agreements – Game Changer or Consolation Prize?

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This past year we saw constructive action result from the national outrage at George Floyd’s murder in 2020 including a hopeful response in Illinois and Chicago with passage of the Predatory Loan Prevention Act, Illinois CRA and Chicago’s Lending Equity Ordinance. But there’s much more to do.

Read the report online

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Offering Help and Hope Against Predatory Financial Practices

WeProsper is a joint initiative of Woodstock Institute, New America Chicago, and The Chicago Urban League. We offer free educational resources for lawmakers and the public with special focus on communities of color, in English and Spanish. WeProsper also supports efforts to create alternative wealth-building strategies in low-income communities through its research work. Learn more about WeProsper >

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Woodstock Institute is a national leader advocating financial access, from child savings accounts to capping consumer loans, strengthening CRA and helping craft Illinois' Secure Choice program.  Keep up on the latest research and policy initiatives and help increase financial access with us!

Our Work

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Our materials help educate policymakers and others on initiatives that will increase access to opportunity and close the racial wealth gap in Chicago, in Illinois and nationally. View advocacy

Our reports, fact sheets, and other data covers community reinvestment and redlining, fines and fees, and other financial access issues from 2005 to date. View research

Since 1986 we've analyzed and shared Chicago community loan data, now covering the 7-county metro region. We're also available to provide technical assistance to community organizations and others to use this data for community development. View the Data Portal & Fact Book