From isolation to collaboration: African American faith-based partnerships & local community development

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As new catalysts for community and economic development projects are sought, the historical role of the African American church as a driver of community and economic development has been brought to the forefront. African American churches have been the bedrock of the African American community since slavery and during Reconstruction era, many African American churches founded what are now Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). These same institutions were credited with developing businesses that tailored to the African American clientele. Building on this legacy, modern day African American churches and/or their associated community development corporations are driving innovative social enterprises, housing developments, credit unions, and businesses in low-income areas that have been abandoned by traditional market forces. Although admiring the productivity of these churches, one has to recognize that the majority of the African American churches that are engaged in these activities are large, or mega-churches with 1,000 or more members.


Economic Advancement


Urban Studies and Planning

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