Legitimizing and Resisting Neoliberalism in U.S. Community Development

The influential role of community development intermediaries

Authored by: Leigh Graham

The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415673440
eBook ISBN: 9781315755519
Adobe ISBN: 9781317627401


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The U.S. community development field originated as a movement for the self-determination of urban poor Black and Puerto Rican communities, emerging from the social justice activism of the 1960s and 1970s. Political empowerment and economic autonomy was the means to transform “ghetto” circumstances and conditions into thriving, healthy, prosperous, and equitable environments for poor and segregated African-Americans and Latinos (Ferguson and Dickens, 1999; Goldsmith, 1974; Newman and Lake, 2006; Tabb, 1970). Key ingredients included “community organizing, political power, training, and participation” (Vietorisz and Harrison, 1971).

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