The catalyst for the beginning of the Latino Economic Development Center was tragedy: The shooting of a Latino man by a DC police officer, and the subsequent outpouring of violence and protests known as the Mount Pleasant Riots. A group of citizens decided to take a stand, that for those who had left poverty and persecution in their old countries deserved advocacy, aid and opportunity for advancement in their new one. In 2014, LEDC invested more than $1.5 million to help more than 100 small businesses start and expand, aided more than 3000 families with affordable housing, prevented nearly 150 foreclosures, in addition to helping Latinos and other DC-area residents find employment, become financially literate and develop business acumen.
The American Dream is essentially the ideal that every citizen have an equal opportunity to achieve success if he is willing to work for it. The Latino Economic Development Center helps clients take the steps toward achieving that American Dream. It doesn't look the same for everyone. For some, it might mean owning a small business, while for others home ownership is the most meaningful goal. LEDC teaches clients how to ask the right questions, make smart choices and advocate for themselves as they move toward the future.