Wealth Building as a Tool for an Equitable Rochester

From local government officials to philanthropic stakeholders to Living Cities staff, this story is one in a series that demonstrates the impact Living Cities has across the U.S. — connecting individuals and highlighting successful initiatives.

Dr. Lomax R. Campbell

Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building in the City of Rochester, New York

I’ve grown into my role as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building in the City of Rochester with Living Cities by my side. Having an Office of Community Wealth Building isn’t common in city government, we are doing something that is counter-cultural to the system by embedding equity across all of our work here in Rochester.

My team is responsible for collaborating with a diverse array of community partners to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fosters communal wealth and helps our citizens thrive. By having the opportunity to be a part of Living Cities’ fifth City Accelerator cohort, I was able to grow and learn alongside other city government officials and share in experiences and successes. Thanks to City Accelerator, I also attended the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism® Community Organizing workshop, which provides framing that helps connect city leaders to the framework that is required to undo structural and systemic racism.

We’re trying to shift entire cultures of multiple organizations across communities — that requires significant trust.

We’re trying to shift entire cultures of multiple organizations across communities — that requires significant trust. And trust is gained by proving that progress is happening toward community goals, by having externally funded initiatives that are less susceptible to political influence and through nimble initiatives that can show progress within a short period of time.

Together, we’re learning to be agents of change within city government and to build competencies and better understand how to leverage our power to shift systemic inequities.




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