LISC’s mission is simple, but its expertise is nuanced and complex. Together with residents and partners, they forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a global non-profit organization that invests in rural, underinvested communities around the nation to drive systemic change that fosters shared prosperity and well-being.
The Triad team traveled to Clarksdale, Mississippi to document the firsthand impacts of LISC in a depressed community. We interviewed the Executive Director of a posh hotel, a Workforce Development Director of an Arts community, an artist-in-residence, and the Head Roaster of Meraki Coffee Co (who is a product of LISC economic development efforts).
All of our interviewees shared one core value: they were hyper-focused on the belief that there is great importance to uplift our rural communities. If we don’t, we may miss out on hidden opportunities that may be lost in the rough.
While the interviewers gave us great insight into how LISC efforts have had positive ripple effects on Clarksdale and surrounding communities, the practice of filming itself was eye-opening. The unfortunate statistics themselves were illuminated by what we are able to walk around and see. Empty streets and businesses, demolished infrastructure, and an eerie silence enveloped the town. But the people we met brought a fiery passion to the potential of what this place can become.
This documentary story highlights the importance of investing in the communities we don’t first think about. Equal opportunity, leadership development, and driving systemic change in these communities are important keys to our future.