The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative is honored to recognize four outstanding leaders who have dedicated their careers to helping individuals and families—particularly those in communities of color—build wealth and achieve economic security.

These Asset Builder Champions received their awards at an opening reception on April 29, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington, DC.


Gutierrez-headshotLuis. V. Gutiérrez, Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Luis V. Gutiérrez has represented Illinois’ Fourth Congressional District in Chicago and Cook County since 1992. Now in his twelfth term, Gutiérrez is the senior member of the Illinois delegation. A nationally recognized leader on issues of importance to Latino and immigrant communities, he is a tireless champion of immigration reform and the Chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the House Hispanic Caucus. Gutiérrez was instrumental in advocating deportation relief for certain long-term undocumented immigrants and their families. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a series of executive actions announced by President Obama in 2014 are partly a result of his activism. He has also worked hard to get immigrants in Chicago and elsewhere to apply for these protections. With the 113th Congress, Gutiérrez returned to the House Judiciary Committee to play a critical role on the Immigration and Border Security and Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security subcommittees and push for broad immigration reform and sensible gun control legislation. He is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and its Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence subcommittee. He is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Urban Caucus, and the Social Work Caucus. Previously, he served as an Alderman in the city of Chicago, and he has been a teacher, among other diverse positions.

Read more about Congressman Gutiérrez in a profile and an interview.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.20.45 AMTanya Fiddler, Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund

Tanya Fiddler is the Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund, a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) focused on entrepreneurship and financial literacy for the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Fiddle has built the organization into an award-winning institution. She is also the Co-Chair for the Native CDFI Network and the Chair of the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance. She serves on the Board of Directors for Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, a Native CDFI dedicated to housing on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national nonprofit that aims to alleviate poverty through economic opportunity. Fiddler has received several awards including the 2008 Bureau of Indian Affairs “Entrepreneur Advocate of the Year.”

Read more about Tanya Fiddler in a profile and an interview.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.17.04 AMLisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National CAPACD

Lisa Hasegawa is the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), the first national advocacy organization focused on housing and community development for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Hasegawa also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Executive Committee of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. She was the Community Liaison for the White House Initiative on AAPIs and worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. Hasegawa was also a Fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership Program.

Read more about Lisa Hasegawa in a profile and an interview.

John Powell 5328john a. powell, Executive Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

john a. powell (lower case his choice), the Executive Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, is an expert on civil rights, civil liberties, and related issues. He is Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. Previously, Powell was the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, and he held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Under his direction, the Kirwan Institute emerged as a national leader on scholarship related to race, racism, and opportunity. He has also led development of an opportunity-based model for studying affordable housing, race, and how housing influences other areas including education, employment and healthcare.

Read more about john powell in a profile and an interview.

Full reception video

Learn more about the 2015 Color of Wealth Summit