Community Development Field

Shelterforce considers “community development” to be an extremely broad term. But there are still many conversations about the ways in which that broad work happens. Comprehensively or in coalitions of specialized organizations? Locally or regionally? Place or people? While the answers to all of these are usually “both,” there are many conversations to be had about “how.”

Love statue

A Love Letter to the Next Decade of Community Development

For a long time, we’ve been too quiet about what’s working and what’s fueling us. But our field has major reasons to be proud; reasons you could miss in the cacophony of daily news.
four people linking hands together

Let’s Get Explicit: Social Justice in Asset Based Community Development

Four Asset Based Community Development practices that support social justice frameworks when practitioners make them explicit and intentional.
block party

Loneliness Kills; Community Developers Can Help

Some social determinants of health are concrete and physical. A substandard house with mold and pests, for example, will lead to more asthma and...
A child stands in front of a sign that reads "Low Water Landscape." Photo by 100 Resilient Cities

Resilience 101

Community development fits well within the growing resilience movement—and connecting the two more explicitly could make their work even more powerful.
community garden

Community Development and New Understandings of Health and Wellness

In June 2012, I attended the Institute for the Future’s Health Horizons conference Innovating Information Ecosystems: The Next Decade and Beyond as an expert...

Have you participated in any bank accountability/economic justice demonstrations?

Last week, we asked readers “Have you participated in any bank accountability/economic justice demonstrations through New Bottom Line, Occupy Wall Street, or similar groups?”...
CSI’s former space at 215 Spadina in Toronto

Nonprofit Centers: Hubs for Connection and Collaboration

To understand nonprofit centers and how they achieve their impact, it’s helpful to think of them in layers: the building as an asset, the building as a program, and the building as a platform for collaboration.

“Why Would a Hospital Do This?” Shifting Institutional Culture for Health Equity

Hanaa Hamdi is the director of health impact investment strategies and partnerships at New Jersey Community Capital, the state’s largest CDFI. Michellene Davis is...

Landlines Turned Lifelines

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the growing hardships of people living a rural life. They tend to have...
redlining map and racial equity

Can Using a Racial Equity Lens Increase Capital in Communities of Color?

If CDFIs adopted traditional appraisal standards to determine loan amounts, they'd make very few loans in the communities they were founded to serve.

Who Will Lead Community Development Corporations?

Community development corporations are surprisingly short on executives of color. Why? And how can the field do better?

The ‘Art’ of Public Planning

Café tables? Yes. Mimes? Sure. Palm trees? Oooh yeah.I checked off boxes next to the features I like in...
demolished building

Is “Sustainability” Old Hat?

Americans have treated the word “sustainability” as though everyone practices sustainability daily and the concept is old hat. We should know better.

Mission: Accomplished

For the past five years, I have been involved with a project in Eastern Oregon in a town with a population of 3,310. The...

Fighting for Responsible Corporate Partnerships

As with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, we need a new mechanism for the next 36 years that forces corporations to anchor themselves in our neighborhoods.
Neon "Hands Up-Don't Shoot" sign displayed on highway overpass.

Police and Communities: Conversations Continue, Solutions Appear

Community development corporations play an important role in community safety. As such, they are often at conflict with themselves over their relationships with the police and the communities they serve.

Preparing for Change

CBOs, particularly those involved in comprehensive community building efforts, need to do a better job of involving residents and other constituents in planning and...

“Money Must Serve, Not Rule!”

In November 2013, Morgan Stanley launched its Institute for Sustainable Investing and announced that within five years it was aiming to manage $10 billion...

Perspectives on the Community Land Trust

An interview with John Emmeus Davis, Line Algoed, and María E. Hernández-Torrales, editors of On Common Ground: International Perspectives on the Community Land Trust.

Address Merger Concerns Before the Merger

The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) both began in the early 1980’s as grassroots statewide advocacy organizations....