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Race

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‘Opportunity Areas’ Shouldn’t Just Be Places With A Lot of White People

Why do we think moving to white neighborhoods will solve our problems?

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A sprawling white “hipster” is memorialized against a backdrop of romanticized visions of blight in a mural that dominates an intersection in the historically Black 7th Ward in New Orleans.
Affordability

The Cultural Ramifications of Gentrification in New Orleans

Gentrification is not just physical displacement; it’s cultural appropriation across entire neighborhoods. Artists have an obligation not to participate.

The cover of the Summer 2017 edition of Shelterforce magazine, which focuses on racial justice. Topics include character loans, policing, gentrification ...
Community Development Field

Editor’s Note: Racial Justice — Beyond Good Intentions

Race affects everything in American society. Working to fight racial injustice is a large part of what the community development field does. And yet, that doesn’t get us off the hook.

Community Development Field

Who Will Lead Community Development Corporations?

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

An illustration of a headshot that has racially loaded terms enscribed on it. Surrounding the tombstone are reasons why these terms should not be used.
Disinvestment

Q: Is It Time to Bury Racially Loaded Planning and Development Terms?

Shelterforce has gathered some racially loaded terms that are common in our field. We suggest you use these sparingly and carefully, if at all.

A group of activists and community-based partners in Philadelphia discuss how to deal with a Mantua neighborhood hotspot and possibly solve the problem through a process called “crime prevention through environmental design.”
Community Control

Roundtable: Policing and Community Development

Many people in the community development field are conflicted about the police presence where they work. We invited a group of practitioners to share their experiences and talk through this tension.

A black and white illustration of a head broken into puzzle pieces.
Community Development Field

Chipping Away at Implicit Bias

Structural discrimination has led to an unconscious association between blackness and poverty and neighborhood disinvestment. Here’s what we can do to change the status quo.

Two employees of Grace Federal Solutions in North Carolina, an African-American man and woman, chat in the hallway of their offices. The company secured a loan from a CDFI.
CDFIs

CDFIs Led By People of Color Face Financial Disparities Too

A lack of access to capital, capacity-building resources, and technical assistance significantly constrains the ability of CDFIs led by people of color to achieve greater impact.

A street is covered with flowers and photos of Heather Heyer, as people look on the background
Equity

Terrorism in Charlottesville — And Possibly Your Town Next

The Trump-era increase widespread racial terror, as was on display in Charlottesville, is going to affect community developers’ work at least as much as as his legislative and funding agenda.

A black and white photograph from 1942 of a sign that read "We want white tenants in our white community."
Equity

Just as I Suspected, Paying Rent Is Racist

Every month millions of Black Americans hand over half of our livelihood to the descendants of those who forcefully brought our ancestors here to work for free. Essentially, America is in the business of charging its captives rent.

Cover image of Race, Class, and Politics in The Cappuccino City.
Neighborhood Change

A D.C. Neighborhood’s Transformation From “Chocolate” to “Cappuccino”

To longtime residents of D.C., the findings presented in Derek Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City—that gentrifying neighborhoods’ racial and economic diversity does not translate into integration—is likely not surprising.

On an overpass over a highway, people hold a lighted sign that reads "End the New Jim Crow."
Race & Place

False Equivalency on Race, Once Again

The inability to distinguish policies explicitly designed to oppress and exploit people because of their race with efforts to ameliorate those barriers and liberate people of color is troubling.

Equity

4 Reasons to Retire the Phrase “Inner City”

On a recent trip to Seattle, I picked up a copy of the weekly paper The Stranger. As I was browsing the news briefs, one sentence in an item on […]