Advocacy and the Democratization of Financial InstitutionsEdited by Gregory D. Squires
Community activists were delighted with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, but they came to realize that it would take more than the word of law to bring about real change. This book gives voice to the activists who took it upon themselves to agitate for increased investment by financial institutions in their local communities. They tell of their struggles to get banks, mortgage companies and others to rethink their lending policies. Their stories, drawn from experiences in Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Boston, Pittsburgh, and other cities around the country, offer insight into the way our political/economic system really works.
"Public advocacy is the anvil of democracy. This book documents how the traditional exercise of protest, demonstration, contention and community action has been central to changing the discriminatory financial practices of savings and loans, banks, insurance companies and governments. It is a wonderful primer about democracy at its best."
—John McKnight, Professor, Director of Community Studies, Institute For Policy Studies, Northwestern University
"This book provides new insight into the community-based challenges of institutional discrimination in neighborhoods. It explores the relationships between race and capital and highlights the rewards of long-term persistent struggle. It contains lessons to be learned by both advocates and financial institutions and reminds us that we must be ever watchful and alert to practices that may erode our hard-fought success."
—Shanna Smith, President and CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance
"A powerful book demonstrating community activism did not die in the 60's, but is vibrant and effective across the U.S. today!"
—Joe R. Feagin, Graduate Research Professor, University of Florida, and author of The New Urban Paradigm and, with Karyn McKinney, The Many Costs of Racism
"Moreso than any other scholar, Gregory Squires' work consistently and superbly calls our attention to the continuing processes of racial discrimination in the housing market. This volume is no exception. Arguing that 'advocacy and accomplishment are pieces of the same mosaic,' the authors in this volume provide concrete examples of how credit was obtained for poor communities in Boston, the Bronx, Chicago, North Carolina, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh and overviews of how national organizations can and do help in this process. In the quarter century since the Fair Housing Act was passed, many have remarked at how much more subtle discrimination is, but none have revealed the complexity of the processes that lead to it and the solutions required as well as this book."
—Nancy Denton, Associate Professor of Sociology, SUNY Albany
"(A) breath of fresh air in an abundance of urban analysis that too often sacrifices accuracy to objectivity...this is an inspiring and enriching volume."