LEDC envisions all residents having the awareness and equitable access to resources in order to create economic opportunity by building financial assets and becoming actively engaged in their communities.
By fostering communities that are inclusive, just, and self-sustaining, LEDC values the economic and social advancement of the underserved as fundamental to the long-term health of the larger communities within which they live and work.
On a warm spring night in 1991, a Latino man was shot by a DC police officer leading to several days of violent clashes and millions of dollars in property damages in the DC neighborhood of Mount Pleasant.
Soon thereafter, a visionary group of bankers, business professionals, and civil rights activists came together to launch the Latino Economic Development Corporation of Washington, DC (LEDC). In 2012, the name was changed to the Latino Economic Development Center.
The vast majority of those who participated in what became popularly known as the “Mount Pleasant Riots” had fled or were the children of those who had fled the rampant civil wars and systemic lack of opportunities in Central America.
Risking their lives to escape crushing poverty in their country only to continue being denied access to economic and social advancement in the US was well beyond what many in the neighborhood were willing to bear.
The founders of LEDC applied for and received seed funding from the District of Columbia’s Office of Business and Economic Development (OBED) to develop an organization that would help low-income Latinos build assets through small business development, homeownership counseling, and tenant organizing.
On July 3, 1991, LEDC was incorporated as a community-based, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in the offices of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Since 2001 LEDC has been HUD certified as a housing counseling agency and Freddie Mac (since 2003), and we are certified by Bank of America as a Homebuyer Education Provider. Since 2003, we have been certified by the US Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). In 2006 LEDC became an SBA Micro-Loan Intermediary Lender. LEDC is a signatory of the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights.