In 2005, the Jewish Community Relations Council organized a Learning Exchange in which a group of Boston antipoverty leaders traveled to Israel with the goal of fostering cross-fertilization between the Boston delegation and their counterparts in Haifa. The Exchange achieved that goal remarkably. At the time, I was the director of a Boston-based community development corporation (CDC) that faced challenges related to rapid neighborhood change, and my experience spurred me to seek out opportunities for cross-fertilization and collaboration within greater Boston of the type we experienced in Haifa. Specifically, I brought colleagues together to share our experiences leading CDCs in a changing environment. Those conversations grew into the Community Development Innovation Forum, which engaged about eighty community development practitioners and allies in a process of rethinking our strategies and our field. As part of that process, and motivated by the Boston–Haifa experience, I devoted myself to exploring how collaborations can help CDCs be more effective and resilient. This article summarizes the observations and analysis that resulted from that exploration, which I believe are applicable to nonprofit and social change organizations more generally, particularly those that are place based.
"Joining Forces in Boston: Community Development Corporations,"
New England Journal of Public Policy:
1, Article 17.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol23/iss1/17