This course introduces graduate students to topics in the field of community wealth building, and strategies for achieving equitable community development. Students study ways that communities have organized to gain access to capital, methods and mechanisms to ensure equitable development, and technical tools needed to secure and retain community wealth in lower income urban neighborhoods and communities of color.
The course examines challenges and impediments that community organizations face, particularly in the context of the current economic recession. The course exposes students to a variety of perspectives, from a range of political viewpoints, and students are expected to evaluate with a critical eye the validity and efficacy of all strategies. It incorporates as guest lecturers experienced practitioners from the field. The course frequently uses New York City neighborhoods as laboratories for observing and developing successful strategies for community wealth building.
The course covers the following sequence:
- An introduction to and history of community wealth building issues;
- Policy and advocacy issues;
- Particular strategies for implementing community-based development; and
- Methods for assessing and documenting community needs.