On Saturday evening’s Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 special Lebron James honored graduating seniors and emphasized the role this generation will play in giving back to their communities.
James told high school seniors to recommit to their communities. “Community needs you,” James said. “Building your community is how you change the world. Be the first generation to embrace a new responsibility… a responsibility to rebuild your community. Make community your priority.”
Dr. Jim White, PhD, a thought leader and expert in the field of Opportunity Zones, concurred. “As Former President Barack Obama poignantly said in his commencement speech, ‘It doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick. Our society and democracy only work when we think not just about ourselves but about each other.’”
“I couldn’t agree more, and it’s a message not just for high school seniors but for their parents, too. That is why I’ve made it my mission to urge Americans to rally together to improve the lives of some 35 million people living in our nation’s most distressed communities: the 8,800 so-called opportunity zones that are struggling with unemployment, poverty, drugs, crime, and failing infrastructure.,” White said.
White is the bestselling author of Opportunity Investing: How to Revitalize Urban and Rural Communities with Opportunity Funds, a heartfelt rallying cry for investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones which released March 31, 2020.
The book guides readers through the process of investment of opportunity zones and offers innovative ways to revitalize them.
“While the graduating students of 2020 may not have generated the income to invest in opportunity zones quite yet, they absolutely do have acute social consciousness and the sense of being a part of a national fabric. They want to make an impact and they know they have the power to change people’s lives for the better,” White said.
“Investors should take a lesson from this generation of youth about repairing our nation. Through Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) investors have a chance to work together to turn distressed communities around and make money through capital gains savings,” he said.
The bipartisan Opportunity Zones initiative was established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of December 2017 as a strategy to spurring long-term private sector investments in low-income rural and urban communities across the country. It offers a concrete path to bolster and revitalize distressed businesses and communities.
It’s a win all around: when businesses in opportunity zones thrive, communities have more jobs with better salaries. More people will want to relocate to these areas, which will increase real estate values and breathe new life into local shops and stores. When residents and business owners are doing well, they spend more money on beautifying their homes, storefronts, public buildings, streets, parks, and monuments. Infrastructure improves, crime decreases, and better healthcare becomes available.
Spread out over many communities, the strategy can help the entire nation flourish.
“This generation certainly has learned the indelible lesson of the pandemic, which is that we are all responsible for one another,” White said.
Jim White, PhD is Chairman and CEO of Post Harvest Technologies, Inc. and Growers Ice Company, Inc., Founder and CEO of PHT Opportunity Fund LP, and Founder and President of JL White International, LLC. Dr. White holds a B.S. in civil engineering, an MBA, and a doctorate in psychology and organizational behavior. He acquires struggling businesses to revive and develop them into profitable enterprises using his business turnaround strategy. To date, he has generated more than $1.8 billion in revenue.
His new book, Opportunity Investing: How to Revitalize Urban and Rural Communities with Opportunity Funds, launched March 31, 2020.