Call for Articles, Shelterforce: The Changing World of Community Development
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Jan 13 09:02:17 CST 2007
From: Harold Simon <hsimon at nhi.org>
Call for Article Submissions to Shelterforce: The Changing World of
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 nhi.org <mailto:articles at nhi.org> 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,* *www.nhi.org/online/write.html.
*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
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
Writing for /Shelterforce/
Launched in 1975, /Shelterforce/ (shelterforce.org) 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: www.nhi.org/online/write.html <http://www.nhi.org/online/write.html>.
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