Have Community, Will Travel

Ethnic-based community development corporations reflect the changing face of contemporary America.

Into the Future

As immigration continues to change the face of America, community development corporations have adapted to fill new roles. Although ethnic groups are often identified with specific districts, like Chinatown, Little Italy, or Koreatown, many immigrants are dispersed over large metropolitan regions. By redefining the community in terms of population, not location, EBCDCs have changed the way community organizations operate.

Leaders of EBCDCs believe their organizations play a crucial role left unfulfilled by the traditional community development movement. As Agnani points out, the South Asian population in New York “is an extremely underserved community that is one of the strongest bases of the local economy. Existing community development corporations have not changed with the population, and we are simply responding to meet a need.”

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