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2021: Strategies and Tools for Economic Development Organizations to Champion Equitable Economic Development

Co-Learning Plan - 2021

Authors: Tony Willis


Despite the heightened visibility on the inequities many people/groups are facing (notably wealth and entrepreneurship within Black and Hispanic communities), many economic development organizations (EDOs) have yet to develop a toolbox consisting of programs, collaborations, and policies to fully address these issues in order enhance prosperity for all within their region. This Co-Learning Plan project will be the creation of detailed playbook that EDOs can equip to address many inequities their communities are facing.

Author Information

Tony WillisTony Willis

As the Chief Equity Development Officer for LEAP, Tony Willis leads the organization in establishing and extending programs to support equitable economic development throughout the Lansing region. With the goal of creating a stronger, more competitive economy that works for all; Tony works to dismantle barriers and expand opportunities for low-income people, communities of color, and other underrepresented groups. Tony is also the President of PROTO Accelerator, the region’s first corporate innovation platform and the only accelerator in the state of Michigan with a program focused on JnsurTech. Tony is a proud Spartan, having earned a BA in Communications with specialization in PR from Michigan State University. Tony also attended Lansing Community College prior to transferring to Michigan State University. 

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