SOURCE: First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute

April 20, 2016 07:00 ET

First Nations Development Institute President & CEO Michael Roberts to Receive "Asset Builder Champion" Award Tonight From the Center for Global Policy Solutions

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 20, 2016) - Michael E. Roberts, president and CEO of First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) in Longmont, Colorado, will be honored tonight with one of four "Asset Builder Champion" (ABC) awards from the Center for Global Policy Solutions in Washington, D.C.

The award ceremony -- the third annual -- is part of the 2016 Color of Wealth Summit. Tonight's award reception is followed by tomorrow's Color of Wealth Summit -- "Inclusion Revolution: Race, Economic Mobility and the Future of America." The summit is an effort under the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative.

Besides Roberts, the other ABC award recipients are U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Pitzer College President-Elect Melvin Oliver, and Highlander Research and Education Center Board Member Meizhu Lui. They are being honored for their significant contributions to addressing racial wealth disparities nationwide.

"While I am flattered to receive this award, it is far from an individual accomplishment," Roberts noted. "In fact, the recognition for this work goes beyond First Nations itself. The real heroes in this effort are the communities we partner with and whose ideas and solutions we are lucky enough to get to invest in, as equal partners with these communities."

First Nations is a Native American-created and led, national nonprofit organization. For more than 35 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing American Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own -- be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources -- and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native communities throughout the United States.

Roberts, who is Tlingit, was appointed president of First Nations in 2005 after returning to that organization in 2003. He served previously as First Nations' chief operating officer until 1997. In the interim, he worked in private equity, providing services for angel investors, a telecommunications fund, and a venture capital firm. He also worked at Alaska Native corporations and for local IRA councils. He taught a graduate course on venture capital at the University of Missouri (Kansas City) Bloch School of Business and an undergraduate entrepreneurship course at Haskell Indian Nations University. He serves on the board of First Nations and is chairman of the board of First Nations Oweesta Corporation. He is a steering committee member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Network and on the investment committee for the Three Affiliated Tribes. Roberts has held other advisory positions including as a board member for Native Americans in Philanthropy.

The Center for Global Policy Solutions is a 501(c)(3) think tank and action organization that labors in pursuit of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive world in which everyone has the opportunity to thrive in safe and sustainable environments. Its mission is to make policy work for people and their environments by advancing economic security, health, education and civic success for vulnerable populations. Its target groups include people of color, women, children and youth, older adults and low-income populations. In recognition of these overlapping identities and issues, the center uses an "intersectional" lens to develop policy and program solutions. With economic inequality growing and health, education and civic disparities at alarming levels, the center is committed to promoting equitable outcomes for marginalized populations while strengthening communities, the nation and the world.

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