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Kristen Cox

Kristen Cox works in investor relations, communications, and development for Self-Help, now the largest community development financial institution (CDFFI) in the country. Self-Help is a family of organizations that includes two credit unions, a community development corporation, nonprofit loan fund, and research and public policy nonprofit. She found the field of community development finance after spending 13 years in non-profit programming, resource development, cultural organizing, community outreach, philanthropic and donor organizing in Chicago, and now educates around why it is the most impactful social justice work she has ever done. Kristen was an early fossil-fuel divestor and discoverer of socially responsible and community investing after inheriting a stock portfolio in her twenties. She founded the Fire This Time Fund, a giving circle together with 11 others awarded small-scale, off-the-grid creative social change projects in the Chicagoland area from 2006 - 2011. Kristen is on the board of the Responsible Endowments Coalition, an active alum of Resource Generation, member of Triangle SURJ, and former board member of Young Chicago Authors. Kristen is one-sixth part family farm owner in Central Kentucky, occasional Barry Manilow impersonator, and finder of secret swimming holes. In 2003, Kristen received her Masters in social work with a focus on community development from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

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