Discussion on Community Wealth Building with Joseph Kennedy III U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs

US special envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs Joe Kennedy met local Community Wealth Building leaders Brian O’Neill, Charlie Fisher, David Hunter, John McGowan, Ken Nelson last night to discuss how the Community Wealth Building Initiative aligns with global efforts to empower communities. 

Community Wealth Building is a new people-centred approach to local economic development, which redirects wealth back into the local economy. During 2022 -23 DTNI supported the development of 2 Community Wealth Building Pilots in Derry and Larne, providing technical support for these pilots to set up and get established.  Both partnerships are currently working together on the development of joint projects as well as developing area specific actions to implement. Both areas are located on a border Larne (Irish sea border) and Derry (ROI border) and so open up the initiative to cross community, East-West, North-South opportunities. 

Mr Kennedy is dedicated to supporting local community organizing efforts in under-resourced and historically disenfranchised communities. Over four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Kennedy built an impressive legislative record around economic policy, health care, and civil rights. Mr. Kennedy sat on the House Energy & Commerce committee and spearheaded bipartisan efforts to extend mental health coverage, support the domestic manufacturing industry, protect consumer voices online, make hearing aids more affordable, and defend access to legal assistance for struggling families. 

Today, Mr. Kennedy also serves as Managing Director at Citizens Energy, a non-profit energy company founded to help low-income families meet their basic energy needs.

Pictured: Left to right -Brian O’Neill, Charlie Fisher, David Hunter, John McGowan, Ken Nelson and Joe Kennedy