Scapegoating the Community Reinvestment Act

Even in the midst of the nation’s financial sector meltdown prompting a societal march toward a long and deep economic recession, far too many people who should know better have decided to blame the Community Reinvestment Act for the subprime foreclosure crisis and the implosion of commercial banks and mortgage brokers.

The nonprofit sector knows better—and had better get on the stick to advocate against efforts to weaken this absolutely vital component of national policy. Enacted in 1977 “to encourage depository institutions to meet the credit needs of lower-income communities" (emphasis added), CRA became a crucial tool for reversing the prevalent banking practice of racial and geographic “redlining.”

Welcome | Winter 2001

Why did we decide to produce an issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly, which is meant to address the entirety of the sector, on the subject of youth development? Our reason is simple. We see it as a topic that cuts across the boundaries of fields of practice and geography impacting such core concerns as the sustainability of our work, the depth and diversity of our leadership, and the energy, power and vision with which we pursue our work. We have only recently come to understand some of the reasons for what appear to be serious age based divisions in our organizations and our work. We want to draw you into a conversation with those who are most closely involved with youth?about where the divisions began, how they have continued and worsened and what we can do now to redress the problem.

Building Youth Movements for Community Change

Whether youth are working to address problems specifically facing youth or issues affecting the entire community, all youth involved in organizing must confront and overcome the fact that young people are politically disempowered and denied access to the decision-making process.