Center for Community Change

Our History

The Center, founded in 1968, grew out of a powerful combination of ideas and events in the 1960s. Many important partners, including the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Fund, the Ford Foundation, and leaders of the United Auto Workers, made the Center for Community Change a reality.

From the very beginning, the Center’s purpose has been to help establish and develop community organizations across the country, “bring attention to major national issues related to poverty,” and “help insure that government programs are responsive to community needs.”

The Center has a deep and active history in community organizing in all low-income communities,encompassing urban and rural areas, and African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, and immigrant communities. Over the years, the Center has nurtured thousands of local groups and leaders. In addition, the Center has catalyzed grassroots coalitions that were instrumental in the creation of the federal Food Stamps Program, the enactment of the Community Reinvestment Act, the growth of Community Development Corporations, and the large-scale preservation of affordable housing. National organizations incubated by the Center include:

* The Coalition on Human Needs * The Workforce Alliance * The Environmental Support Center * The Rural Coalition * The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy * The National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support

Throughout our history, the Center has provided policy and organizing expertise on a range of issue areas, including: community reinvestment, affordable and public housing, transportation, income support and job creation, economic development and housing production, hunger and malnutrition, immigrant rights and legislation, and community monitoring efforts to hold government agencies accountable to residents.

Today the Center is a diverse and vibrant organization building on its original mission and the lessons of over three decades of national policy and community organizing efforts, in order to actively engage with community-based organizations and their allies to forge a hopeful path to the future.


Articles by Center for Community Change