Marva Smith Battle-Bey, director of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation in Los Angeles, which she founded in 1979, passed away on April 7th.
Battle-Bey was well known not only in Los Angeles, where she played a major role in rebuilding South LA after the 1992 riots, but in the community development and community reinvestment world at large. She was active in the National Congress for Community Economic Development, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and the California Reinvestment Coalition, and was a long-time board chair of California Coalition for Community Economic Development.
“She knew how to command a room,” wrote NHI/Shelterforce board member Robert Zdenek in a letter remembering Battle-Bey. “Marva was deeply committed to her CDC, but her real passion and leadership at the local, state, and national level was bringing us together and valuing our strengths and gifts.”