Undoing Racism Workshop: Moving Forward
If you have ever attended an Undoing Racism Workshop and are left wondering what to do next, there is an opportunity coming up next month. The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and the Undoing Racism Workshop is at the forefront of anti-racist training and community organizer training. The Haymarket People’s Fund in partnership with the Boston College CHRIJ and LSOE, Simmons SSW, and the Mel King Institute, are happy to announce a regroup session open to anyone that has ever attended an Undoing Racism Workshop. This session revisits concepts from the workshop to discuss, reflect, and apply those themes to our lives and communities. This winter’s community regroup session will take place Friday November 3rd from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Nate Smith House Conference Room, 155 Lamartine St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.
Community organizers Ronald Chisom and Dr. Jim Dunn founded The People’s Institute in 1980 to support a “collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers, and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.” They work with individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to undo the causes of racism and to create a society where race is no longer a barrier preventing communities and individuals from building communities and “effective coalitions.”
The Undoing Racism Workshop is one of The People’s Institute’s main Anti-Racist Principles in their mission to achieve effective social transformation. Through an intensive two-and-half-day workshop The People’s Institute asked difficult questions in hopes of molding active community organizers. The workshop consisted of four distinct themes—listed below—addressing how participants contribute to outlined ecosystem and what an organizer’s role is.
- Why are people poor?
- Community power analysis
- What is gatekeeping?
- Deconstructing internalized racial oppression
The winter regroup session on Friday, November 3rd from 4 pm to 6 pm at ---- is a chance for all those that have ever attended the Undoing Racism Workshop to remember key lessons and discover resources for moving forward. The People’s Institute created the workshop as a tool not to address the symptoms of racism, but undo the causes that have integrated into everyday life. Come out to the regroup session to find resources and forge connections with the aim of creating “a more just and equitable society.”
MACDC released a report today called “Investing in Impact: How the Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credit is Improving Communities and Changing Lives” that highlights how the program raised nearly $24 million in its first three years and has been a game changer for those organizations involved in the program. The CITC program is helping CDCs leverage new private and federal dollars while increasing their strategic and collaborative initiatives. With the majority of dollars coming from new donations, the CITC program is fueling expanded programming in a broad range of community development arenas from affordable housing, to community organizing, to economic development to arts & cultural programming.
The report includes two interactive portals that enable stakeholders to see the results for individual CDCs and to conduct their own analysis of the data.
- The CITC Investment Dashboard provides detailed analytics about the 4,500 donations received through the program from 2014-2016;
- The Growing Opportunities, Assets and Leaders (GOALs) database provides detailed performance data on MACDC's Members.
The report concludes that the CITC program is doing precisely what the legislature intended when it was first enacted in 2012. Key findings include:
- In 2015 and 2016, CDCs participating in the CITC program:
- created or preserved 2,916 homes;
- created or preserved 8,742 job opportunities;
- started, grew, or stabilized 1,420 businesses; and
- served 132,038 families.
- The program has generated $24 million in private philanthropy for community development over the first three years of the program, with the funding growing dramatically each year from $4.7 million in 2014 to $8.2 million in 2015 to $11 million in 2016.
- Donations are coming from new supporters, in particular those from individuals who comprise 64% of the total donations and 40% of the total dollars secured. CITC is also attracting new and larger investments from small businesses, large companies and nonprofit institutions.
- New and flexible funding is fueling new and expanded programming in a broad range of community development arenas from affordable housing, to community organizing, to arts & cultural programming, thereby demonstrating that CITC is fostering more comprehensive approaches to community improvement.
- CITC is helping CDCs act more strategically and collaboratively to implement initiatives that are tailored to the local context and market.
- CITC is helping CDCs leverage new private and federal dollars. Over the past two years, $9.6 million in tax credits have supported a total investment of over $1.2 billion in local communities.
Beyond the numbers, the CDCs consistently report that CITC has transformed their organizations, enabling them to deepen resident engagement, act more strategically and collaboratively, and make meaningful progress toward improving the communities they serve and enhancing opportunities for the people living in those communities.
The new report underscores the importance of enacting legislation to extend and expand the CITC program. MACDC is currently working with Senators Sal DiDomenico and Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Stephen Kulik to win passage of legislation that would extend the program from 2019 to 2025 and slowly increase the cap on tax credits from $6 million to $12 million annually.
Over the past few days, MACDC had two important meetings focused on how we can better leverage our real estate construction projects to create more economic opportunity for the people in our communities.
On Friday, September 22, MACDC members met with leaders from the Massachusetts Minority Contractors Association (MMCA) to plan the launch of the “Boston Pilot Program Phase 2”, a multi-year effort to expand opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses on CDC sponsored real estate projects. Phase 2 will build on the success of Phase 1 when six CDCs undertook 12 projects that collectively spent more than $54 million on MBEs and $11 million on WBEs, representing 36 percent and 7 percent of the total development costs. Phase 2 will grow the program to 10 CDCs, 29 projects and total development costs of $634 million. The goal of the program is for CDC projects to utilize MBEs for 30% or more of the project and WBEs for 10% or more of the project, including both hard and soft costs. At the meeting, we talked about strategies for identifying new M/WBEs that could work on CDC projects and holding general contractors accountable for meeting goals. One area where everyone agreed more work was needed was on soft costs (i.e. professional services) where CDCs have a much harder time meeting their M/WBE participation goals.
The following Monday, a group of Boston CDCs met with the new leadership of the New England Regional Council of Carpenter’s to talk about how CDCs can work with the union on their projects. While many CDCs do hire union carpenters on some of their projects, the union has for years advocated that CDCs should do so more often. At the same time, CDCs are under intense budget pressures and often can’t afford to pay union rates. The Union Leaders shared some of their new strategies for being more competitive and we talked about how to establish good lines of communication. The conversation also focused on how we can ensure that all contractors on CDC projects are in full compliance with employment and worker safety laws given the fact that the Attorney General recently reported that the construction industry is the worst industry in the state with respect to wage law compliance. We also heard about efforts by the Union to continue diversifying their workforce and discussed ways that CDCs could help in those efforts.
The conversations underscored the opportunities and challenges associated with leveraging our construction projects for opportunity. We have multiple goals – hiring MBEs and WBEs; achieving high percentage of work hours for local residents and people of color; paying a livable wage and partnering with unions when possible – all while making sure the projects come in on budget and on time. It’s not easy! But these meetings and these partnerships are a key part of our approach to maximizing the positive impact of these projects. No doubt the conversations and work will continue.
Over 150 people gathered at Halcyon Farm in Brewster on August 23 for the CDP's Annual Summer Evening on the Farm event. It was our 25th anniversary and our biggest summer party ever.
With Small Business TA funding from Mass Growth Capital Corporation severely curtailed due to budget cuts, our business development programs were threatened. After hors d’oeuvres and drinks were provided by local vendors, Executive Director, Jay Coburn, told the stories of three growing small businesses, founded by young people returning to the Lower Cape and how the CDP’s programs helped to make those businesses a success. Former State Senator Dan Wolf stepped up as auctioneer to solicit contributions in support of our small business training, technical assistance and lending programs. In an energized fifteen minutes, forty guests contributed a total of $118,500 in gifts ranging from $15,000 to $100. The availability of the Community Investment Tax Credit helped leverage the large gifts.
It was an exciting night for our community and we are thrilled that our business development program will continue in full force to serve the Lower Cape!
Shirronda Almeida hears the question from other colleagues of color often: “When I go to housing meetings why I am the only person of color?” As an African-American woman, Almeida—director of the Mel King Institute for Community Building in Boston, which runs training, leadership development, and mentoring programs for community developers—knows the feeling well. She says things haven’t changed on that front over her many years in community development as much as she would have hoped. Continue reading article on Shelterforce's website
On August 15, Governor Baker and State officials announced the award of over $72 million in subsidy funding, as well as state and federal housing tax credits that will generate more than $180 million in subsidized private equity, for the development of affordable rental housing. When completed, these 25 projects http://www.mass.gov/hed/press-releases/administration-awards-72m-to-create-and-preserve-housing.html will create or preserve 1,978 rental units, including 1,698 affordable units, with 402 of these affordable units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness.
MACDC Members were well represented among the awardees, with 12 receiving awards, resulting in the creation or preservation of 747 rental units, including 631 affordable units:
- Fenway CDC will preserve 52 units, including 39 affordable units, in Burbank Gardens, located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.
- Jamaica Plain NDC will newly construct 47 units, including 40 affordable units, in General Heath Square Apartments, located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.
- Lena Park CDC, in partnership with New Boston Fund, will construct 100 units, including 40 affordable units, on the site of the former Boston State Hospital, in Olmstead Green Mixed-Income.
- Codman Square NDC will develop 40 affordable family units in Talbot Commons Phase 1, located in Boston’s Codman Square neighborhood.
- Urban Edge will preserve 99 units, including 89 affordable units, in Wilshire Westminster House in Boston.
- Just-A-Start will preserve 112 affordable units in several properties in Cambridge, including those destroyed by fire, in JAS Consolidation.
- Berkshire Housing Development Corporation will develop 60 affordable units in Great Barrington, through a combination of rehabilitation and new construction, in Bostwick Gardens.
- Coalition for a Better Acre will construct 44 affordable units in The Gerson Building, located in Haverhill.
- NewVue Communities will develop Carter School, an historic rehabilitation project in Leominster consisting of 39 affordable units.
- North Shore CDC will preserve 27 single-room-occupancy units, including 26 affordable units, in Harbor and Lafayette Homes, located in Salem.
- Home City Housing will preserve 104 units in Springfield, including 79 affordable units, in Chestnut Crossing.
- Domus, Inc. will develop Moseley Apartments, an historic rehab, with 23 affordable units, located in Westfield.
The strong showing by CDCs reflects the growing strength of the CDC sector in Massachusetts due in part to the Community Investment Tax Credit program, the Mel King Institute for Community Building and other capacity building efforts undertaken in recent years. MACDC will continue to steward these programs while also advocating for for more housing resources that will enable CDCs and others to expand the production and preservation of affordable housing in the Commonwealth .