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Key Terms


Key Terms

Anchor institutions: Nonprofit or public institutions including hospitals, universities, local governments, utilities, large cultural organizations, and place-based foundations. Anchor institutions are geographically tied to their community through their social or public-facing mission, invested capital, or clientele. Due to the scale of their operations, anchor institutions produce a significant economic impact in their surrounding community, and given their social mission and place-based focus, have a vested interest in the long-term health and well-being of their surrounding community.

Anchor mission: A commitment to intentionally apply an anchor institution’s long-term, place-based economic power in partnership with the community to mutually benefit the long-term well-being of both.

By adopting the anchor mission, anchor institutions recognize that their hiring, purchasing, investing, and other institutional assets are an important part of creating thriving communities and equitable local economies.

Anchor collaborative: A place-based network of anchor institutions that utilize an anchor mission framework in partnership with the community in order to advance economic and racial equity through increased economic opportunity, equitable economic development, and community wealth building.

Equitable economic development: Economic development promotes economic well-being and improves the quality of life in communities by creating and retaining jobs, enhancing wealth, and providing a stable tax base. Equitable economic development is achieved when every member of a community is able to share in and benefit from economic growth (Rockefeller Foundation).

Community wealth building: A system-changing approach to community economic development that works to produce broadly shared economic prosperity, racial equity, and ecological sustainability through the reconfiguration of institutions and local economies on the basis of greater democratic ownership, participation, and control (The Democracy Collaborative).

Racial equity: A process of eliminating racial disparities and improving outcomes for everyone. It is the intentional and continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures by prioritizing measurable change in the lives of people of color (Race Forward). Specific to equitable economic development, racial equity means just and fair inclusion in an economy in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We achieve racial equity when race no longer predicts life outcomes (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco).

[2] Frankie Clogston and Zytha Kack, A Playbook for Equitable Economic Development: Guidance on identifying structural racism and implementing equitable practices (The Rockefeller Foundation, 2022), page #8,

[3] “Community Wealth Building,” Democracy Collaborative, last modified 2023, accessed on March 26, 2024,

[4] “What is Racial Equity?,” Race Forward, accessed February 1, 2024,

[5] “Racial Equity Primer,” Federal Reserve Bank of Francisco, accessed February 1, 2024,

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