Call for Articles, Shelterforce: The Changing World of Community Development

colist at colist at
Sat Jan 13 09:02:17 CST 2007

From:     Harold Simon <hsimon at>

Call for Article Submissions to Shelterforce: The Changing World of 
Community Development

Friends and Colleagues

/Shelterforce/ magazine is inviting submissions for articles to be 
published in 2007. The three interrelated themes described below focus 
on the changing world of community development by looking at the 
physical, social and political activities of the movement, the changing 
contexts within which community development practitioners and advocates 
work, and the evolving nature of the work itself.

We hope to broadly disseminate this request for submissions and ask that 
you help us by posting this to lists you’re on that might be appropriate.

If you’re interested in writing for us, please submit a brief query 
to articles at <mailto:articles at> no later than January 
31st. First draft submissions will be due on April 2nd for articles on 
the “Forty Years Later” theme and June 15th for the remaining themes. 
You’ll find information about writing for /Shelterforce/ at the end of 
this note and on our Web site,* *

*Theme 1: Forty Years Later*

In 1967, riots and civil rebellion erupted in the cities of Detroit and 
Newark, drawing the nation’s attention to such chronic problems as 
deteriorating inner cities, urban poverty, and residential segregation. 
Around the country, a season of turmoil came on the heels of judicial 
and legislative victories of the civil rights movement. All were 
important, but they were not enough to undo what the oft-quoted Kerner 
Commission would describe, in 1968, as two separate societies – black 
and white, separate and unequal. Now, after 40 years of community 
organizing and community development, it’s clear to most observers, 
especially after the devastation and gross mismanagement of the 
Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, that we still have a long way to go to 
rectify the consequences of “separate and unequal.”

We will consider articles about Detroit and Newark, as well as other 
places that have suffered under similar circumstances, that explore the 
relationships and roles of race, class and power in a city’s revival (or 
stagnation). We are especially interested in how the community 
development field has performed in such places. Has it been part of the 
solution or part of the problem? Has it helped dismantle inequities 
based on race, class, power and other factors – or has it reinforced 
them? We prefer articles by or about practitioners and are less 
interested in academic or theoretical essays, unless they are firmly 
grounded in real-life stories.

We will welcome first person accounts by people who experienced the 
riots and worked to improve their communities over these past years. We 
also invite the submission of photo essays on Detroit and Newark.

*Theme 2: Community Development at a Crossroads*

The roots of the modern community development movement are – relatively 
speaking – clear. They come from such places as Lyndon Johnson’s War on 
Poverty and Robert F. Kennedy’s vision of economic self-empowerment 
leading to community revitalization.

For many years, the form of this movement was embodied in the community 
development corporation, while its functions ranged from community 
organizing and political engagement to housing development and job 
creation. Today, form and function in community development are more 
fluid and the roles of CDCs are much different than they were in the 
movement’s early days.

We invite articles that examine what community development is today and 
the roles of CDCs within this changing field. We want articles that 
consider how community development is defined in specific market or 
social contexts and explore who the key actors are, and what their 
relationships and roles are or could be or should be.

We are also interested in explorations of the type of geographic area 
best suited to contemporary community development approaches. Is it a 
neighborhood? A city? A region? What relationships must community change 
agents understand to be effective locally and regionally? How do 
community development actors actually work in a regional context, and 
how should they work in order to be more effective?

Finally, as younger leaders emerge in both the broader community 
development field and in community development corporations, we would 
like to know what their backgrounds and perspectives are and how they 
are changing this work.

*Theme 3: Eminent Domain and Community Development*

While the use of eminent domain for redevelopment has been ongoing for 
many decades, attention was focused dramatically on this issue with the 
2005 decision by the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New 
London. Using the specter of widespread eminent domain abuse, opponents 
have pushed for action at the state level to bar its use for economic 
development or redevelopment, where it involves private developers and 
results in benefits to private parties.

There is no question that the power of eminent domain has been abused, 
and that corrections are needed. But there are also many cases where 
redevelopment and eminent domain have been used for positive purposes 
such as forcing out abusive owners of distressed housing complexes, 
assembling land for affordable housing, restoring a block through rehab 
of abandoned properties and infill and bringing a supermarket into a 
distressed neighborhood.

We invite stories about how redevelopment using eminent domain should be 
done. How can the interests of residents and small business owners be 
protected without unduly restricting local governments, nonprofits and 
CDCs in their efforts to build healthy neighborhoods, develop affordable 
housing and create jobs? How can community development practitioners and 
advocates turn the debate on eminent domain and redevelopment toward 
more productive, balanced solutions? We are particularly interested in 
articles that identify best practices, model legislation and creative 
compensation approaches.


Writing for /Shelterforce/

Launched in 1975, /Shelterforce/ ( examines affordable 
housing and community development in low-income communities. While much 
of our focus is on housing, /Shelterforce/ also covers issues beyond 
bricks and mortar, including economic development, education, safety, 
transportation, arts, health and the environment. We also focus on 
community organizing, collaborative activities and political engagement.

/Shelterforce/ covers events, individuals and organizations. We are 
always interested in how groups are organizing their communities, how 
they are dealing with local and regional issues, how they are engaging 
power structures and the lessons that can be drawn from their successes 
or failures. In this age of diminishing resources for social justice, we 
especially want to know how groups large or small are meeting the range 
of challenges facing those working towards equitable and sustainable 
community development; what new strategies are being developed and new 
alliances and partnerships created.

Always, we try to make our articles useful and practical and full of 
specific examples. We avoid theory and opinion that is not grounded in 

For more information about writing for /Shelterforce/, please go 
to: <>. 

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