Women of Color in Community Development (WCCD) is a membership organization and professional network of women of color in the Washington metropolitan region’s community and economic development industry. WCCD’s mission to support the personal, educational and professional development of women of color engaged in the community and economic development aligns with HAND’s commitment to center racial equity. WCCD and HAND’s similarities don’t end there! Heather Raspberry, HAND’s Executive Director, sat on WCCD’s first board because she believes that spaces centered around marginalized groups are necessary, healing and vital to creating an equitable workforce in the community development sector. Also presently, Courtney Battle, HAND’s Director of Strategic Partnerships & Membership, is the President of WCCD.

“INSERT A QUOTE” said Courtney Battle, HAND’s Director of Strategic Partnerships & Membership & President of WCCD 




WCCD was organized in 2008 by founders, Lisa Hall, Susan Jones, Lessie Powell Evans, and Oramenta Newsome to offer a forum where women of color in fields related to community and economic development could be highlighted and celebrated for their professional achievements. In 2018 WCCD obtained its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and established itself officially as a membership association. Prior to 2018, HAND served as the fiscal agent for the organization, providing critical infrastructure in its early years. Since its inception, WCCD has grown from an informal network to a flourishing membership collective, with over 100 dues-paying members and 400+ women in the broader network, primarily located in the DC metropolitan area.



WCCD members regularly enjoy professional development events, panel discussions, mentoring, networking sessions and social gatherings, which further promote the personal and professional advancement of women of color in the field.

WCCD’s membership represents a wide variety of industry sectors including:

  • Affordable housing
  • Economic development
  • Real estate finance
  • Social services
  • Health care
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Education

To learn more about WCCD and keep up with its activities, visit the website here.