Sacramento, Calif. (October 5, 2023) – The Economic Justice Fund (EJF), a nonprofit organization and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is pleased to announce the appointment of Scott Berman as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer. With over two decades of professional experience in the community development finance industry and a demonstrated commitment to EJF’s mission, Scott is ideally poised to lead the organization. As EJF’s founder and former Board President, Scott oversaw the successful growth of EJF into a certified CDFI.
In accepting his new role, Scott stated, “I am honored and humbled to serve as the inaugural CEO. The Economic Justice Fund has established itself as a truly mission-driven CDFI dedicated to empowering individuals, families, and entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. My commitment to this mission and transforming the lives of people excluded from economic opportunities will always be my top priority.”
Scott previously held several senior management positions at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. House of Representatives, and, most recently, at a national CDFI loan fund. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the national CDFI Coalition.
“Scott’s unwavering commitment and dedication to serving underserved individuals and communities is clearly evident by EJF’s impactful track record and achievements to date,” said Ruth Jaure, Acting President of the Economic Justice Fund’s Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors is excited to work with him to spearhead EJF’s next phase of growth and impact.”
Governing Board Director Donna J. Gambrell added, “Through Scott’s tireless efforts and the dedicated support of our Board members, staff, and supporters, EJF’s future has never shone brighter. We are excited to expand our mission-driven lending and find new partners to collaborate with in support of EJF’s mission.”
The Economic Justice Fund is committed to making high-impact loans that enable borrowers who would otherwise lack access to affordable financing to pay emergency expenses, escape predatory loans, embark on entrepreneurial endeavors, support their small businesses, and build their credit scores. EJF commenced its first full year of lending operations in 2021 and achieved CDFI certification in 2022.
Through innovative financial products, character-based lending, and an unwavering commitment to its mission, EJF achieved a significant milestone in September 2023 by disbursing its 100th loan, of which 97% have gone directly to low-, very low-, and extremely low-income borrowers. In addition, EJF’s loans have gone directly to a diverse population of borrowers—72% are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and 74% of all borrowers are women with an average household size of 3-4 people, the majority being young children.
To learn more about EJF’s impactful work, please explore the organization’s Credit-Building Initiative, which empowers borrowers to establish a positive credit history; the Equitable Opportunity Loan, which provides small-dollar lending for very-low- and extremely-low-income borrowers; and the Lifeline Pandemic Recovery Initiative, which supports low-income borrowers seeking relief from predatory loans or high-interest debts.
EJF’s mission is about more than making loans—it is about transforming lives. Testimonials from borrowers who have benefited from our loans and their inspiring success stories can be read here.
ABOUT THE ECONOMIC JUSTICE FUND
The Economic Justice Fund is a mission-driven, nonprofit financial institution dedicated to providing fair, affordable financing and free credit-building services to empower borrowers to realize their dreams. Our loans have low fixed rates, no application fees, no origination fees, no servicing fees, and no prepayment fees. We also offer flexible terms and flexible underwriting to meet the needs of a wide range of borrowers. For more information, visit www.economicjusticefund.org.