In the decade following this speech, CDCs sprung up all over the country, most of them either nonprofits or affiliated with universities. Since then, the movement has persisted in various forms, with many of the original nonprofit and university CDCs still in operation, as well as new forms influenced by the rise of social entrepreneurship.
Community designers focus on a wide range of issues: housing and homelessness, disaster relief and resilience planning, economic development, advocacy and education, to name a few. As a for profit community design practice, FORM Coalition's approach is rooted in a community design and social justice ethic, and our services reflect our experience in the community design field. In addition to traditional architectural services (surveying and drawing existing buildings, designing new ones or renovations), we offer other services typically offered by a community design center, like planning and strategy work, consulting, installations, etc. We like to emphasize participatory planning and design--building a vision with stakeholder involvement-- and economic justice, supporting small, local entrepreneurs--which is why we love working with small businesses and small, local developers!
More reading: Here's a link to the full text (PDF download) of Whitney M. Young's speech. Note that it's 1968 and he's calling out exclusionary and racist housing policies--this was not something that just happened while nobody was watching, people knew exactly what was happening! Also notable is that, on the middle of Page 3, he's either addressing a room entirely full of men, or thinks that he is. Fortunately, the demographic makeup of a roomful of architects has changed in 50 years.
Other things we’ve been up to lately:
Last week we participated in Richmond’s Park[ing] Day event (#ParkingDayRVA), partnering with several organizations and businesses in the Northside neighborhood(s) to install a pop-up park on Brookland Park Boulevard. It was a fun day, but local activist Duron Chavis reminded us, appropriately, of how much work we have to do to build inclusive public spaces via this quote from Annette Koh in 2017 (Twitter):