New Hill receives Wells Fargo grant to continue financial empowerment efforts

Last week, Wells Fargo awarded the New Hill Development Corporation a grant to continue building financial empowerment in the Charlottesville community.

We are excited to announce their support, which comes at an important moment as we move forward with Operation Hope to develop avenues for wealth building and increase access to financial education in the city.

Yolunda Harrell guest appearance on the "I ❤️ CVille" radio show

On July 18th, Yolunda Harrell, C.E.O. of New Hill, joined host Jerry Miller on “I ❤️ CVille” to discuss her childhood, entrepreneurial spirit, and the vision for this community organization!

In the latter half of the interview, Harrell discussed the importance of financial coaching, and how New Hill and Operation Hope are here to help citizens of C’ville manage their finances. When a lot of wealthier individuals “have financial analysts or financial investment bankers that…help them grow it, help them retain it, and help them avoid pitfalls,” the goal of New Hill is ”to bring that opportunity to everyone.”

As Jerry Miller says, New Hill is “serving as an educational sounding board and resource network to aspiring entrepreneurs, current business owners, and folks that want to get into homeownership,” as well as “building generational impact on the community.” We’re excited to continue these efforts.

Check out the I ❤️ CVille article and watch the full interview.

V.A. Governor Northam signs executive order to advance minority business equity

On July 3rd, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order to expand resources and opportunities for V.A.’s small-, women-, minority-, and Veteran-owned businesses.

Speaking about the decision, Northam said “More than 97% of all businesses in Virginia are small businesses and they are truly the economic engine of this commonwealth,” and this executive order will help “level the playing field.”

Read the executive order and more about the decision at NBC29.

New Hill Development Co. Press Release


June 11th, 2019

John Hope Bryant to discuss Economic

Inclusion in Charlottesville, Virginia


Entitled “From Civil Rights to Silver Rights: Economic Prosperity through Inclusion,” the event will be hosted by New Hill Development Corporation.

ATLANTA – June 10, 2019 – Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant, will discuss economic inclusion at an event tomorrow in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Vinegar Hill Theatre. Entitled “From Civil Rights to Silver Rights: Economic Prosperity through Inclusion,” the event will be hosted by New Hill Development Corporation. Bryant’s conversation will be facilitated by John Kluge, founder and managing director of Refugee Investment Network, and board member of New Hill Development Corporation.


New Hill Development Corporation is working to create a new thriving African-American downtown in Charlottesville. New Hill is the lead partner on HOPE Inside Charlottesville, the first HOPE Inside office installation in the state of Virginia, where Operation HOPE provides credit and money management coaching and education, via HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach Bernard Whitsett. Clients are referred from partners such as the Community Investment Collaborative and the Fountain Fund. Additionally, New Hill working with Local Initiative Support Corporation and the City of Charlottesville to complete a Small Area Plan for the Starr Hill area which now houses part of the original footprint of Vinegar Hill. The City of Charlottesville is a major donor to New Hill and supports the partnership with Operation HOPE.


“We are honored to partner with New Hill Development Corporation for this essential discussion event and on HOPE Inside Charlottesville, our first in Virginia,” said John Hope Bryant. “Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive economy—and by extension, society through financial empowerment—and financial dignity. The impact on families and communities as more people and more local businesses succeed; the new investments and jobs that come to communities where people are financially secure and young people have the skills to be productive, represent true community uplift and personal transformation.


New Hill's name pays homage to a once vibrant African American neighborhood in Charlottesville called Vinegar Hill. It was the thriving African American community consisting of about 40 businesses and over 100 homes for decades. In the 1960s, the city razed the neighborhood in the name of 'urban renewal' yet never began redevelopment in the neighborhood for 20 years in any meaningful way. Black families were displaced and most moved into public housing, cutting pathways to homeownership and wealth creation that still impacts racial equity in the city today.


Event details:

From Civil Rights to Silver Rights:
Economic Prosperity through Inclusion

Tuesday, June 11th 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

(Doors open at 6:30pm)

Vinegar Hill Theater
220 W. Market Street, Charlottesville VA 22902
~childcare and youth activities provided on site~


About New Hill Development Corporation

New Hill Development Corporation is an African American led social enterprise established to build a community that is prosperous, inclusive, diverse, and equitable.


About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.4 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope


New Hill Development Co. Press Release



November 7, 2018



New Hill Development Corporation Receives Funding From Charlottesville City Council for Affordable Housing and Economic Redevelopment Initiatives


Charlottesville, VA– On Monday, November 5th, the Charlottesville City Council voted to support New Hill Development Corporation’s (“New Hill”) grant request of $500,000. The funding is seed capital and will help accelerate the organization’s plan to meet the demand for affordable housing and provide financial education.


More than half of the City’s investment will help finalize New Hill’s small area development plan, conduct economic feasibility studies and fund community engagement efforts.


“We are very grateful for the Council’s support and the encouragement we’ve received from residents throughout Charlottesville,” said Yolunda Harrell, Co-Founder and CEO, New Hill Development Corp. “When we formed New Hill we knew it would take hard work, long hours and sacrifice. Our mission is to provide avenues for economic equity, growth and resiliency through targeted financial education, homeownership and small business development. Thanks to the leadership of our board and support from other community investment partners, we are ready to do our part in helping this community continue to thrive.”


“I am excited to learn about New Hill Development Corporation and their plan to rebuild, rejuvenate and organically grow a black middle class in Charlottesville”, said Bernard Whitsett II, Chairman, Business Diversity Council, Charlottesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “An organization of this sort is long overdue to address and remedy the income disparities in Charlottesville and surrounding areas.  New Hill is a promising first step to infuse racial equity into the vast wealth gap in Charlottesville."


For more than a year, the founders of New Hill have met with more than two-dozen state and local elected officials, UVA administrators, banking and social impact investors, housing activists and community stakeholders to hear their ideas for long-term, sustainable solutions for Charlottesville’s most economically and socially vulnerable community – African Americans.


After the white supremacists terror of 2017, New Hill secured an initial investment made by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and is receiving technical support from UVA @ Social Entrepreneurship and UVA Health System.

About New Hill

Founded in 2018, New Hill Development Corp. is a community development corporation established to create an economic and social renaissance primarily in Charlottesville’s historic African American community. The board directors and executive leadership of New Hill are committed to projects that promote equity, prosperity, and inclusiveness, while helping to build a stronger, more economically diverse Charlottesville. 


To learn more about New Hill, visit

CBS19 Feature on New Hill

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville City Council approved of a $500,000 grant for New Hill Development Corporation to create a small area plan.

New Hill Development Corporation is an African-American led nonprofit organization with the goal to help black upward mobility in Charlottesville.

The organization hopes to help the city develop affordable housing as well as create more black-owned businesses.

Yolunda Harrell, the CEO and founder of New Hill Development Corporation, said they want to hear what people would like to see in the new development. 

"We will work with the community to understand what the community would like to plan," said Harrell. "And that's what small area plans are about. We're at the beginning. We're not at the end. This is just what we're kicking off."

Harrell said the small area plan will look at how to develop the Star Hill area and the old footprint of Vinegar Hill.


NBC29 Feature on New Hill


More affordable housing may be on the way thanks to a new corporation that aims to help Charlottesville’s African-American community.

New Hill Development is the first African-American-led development corporation in Charlottesville. Its main goal is to provide affordable housing to the black community, as well as provide economic and social opportunities.

On November 5, City Council voted to approve the grant request of $500,000 for the development. Councilwoman Kathy Galvin said old spaces and buildings need to start being reused.

“When you’ve got a deficit of space in the city, you’ve got a lot of land underutilized, old parking lots, old gas stations, so you’ve got to think outside the box,” Galvin said. “You’ve got to recycle, re-purpose, and reuse.”

The corporation stared in April and will focus on working within the small area plan developed for the Staff Hill neighborhood.

By starting the corporation, they hope that this will help more of the African-American community stay in Charlottesville and have more equal opportunities.


Healing Charlottesville

The Heal Charlottesville Fund was founded in response to the white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Throughout the summer, Charlottesville was terrorized by white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members, culminating in two days of violent clashes and a car attack. Our community was deeply saddened by the loss of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper Berke Bates. A generous outpouring of support resulted in the creation of three funds: Heal Charlottesville, Concert for Charlottesville, and Unity Cville. These Funds are housed at the Community Foundation and are coordinating their work to help injured individuals, ensure trauma counseling services for the community, and address the impacts of structural racism.