Monday, January 18, 2016

CDCs Uphold MLK Values

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

It seems appropriate on the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to talk about community development corporations, sometimes called faith-based organizations.

One of the largest CDCs in the nation is New Community Corporation in Newark, which began in response to the aftermath of 1967 civil disturbances. Its mission was to provide vital services to a community in turmoil and it is still helping people obtain housing, jobs and food.

Locally, there are several CDCs with varied missions. A Plaintalker post from 2007 describes efforts of Liberty CDC (affiliated with Mount Olive Baptist Church) to address gun violence. While that program was later disbanded due to budget cuts at the Union County Prosecutor's Office, other CDCs are still viable.

- Plainfield Grassroots Community Development Corporation helped organize the Youth Summit held this weekend. Other programs include an SAT prep club and the "Out of the Box Club" for math and science. Correction: It was Grassroots Community Foundation that helped organize the Youth Summit.

- Premier Community Development Corporation develops housing and also has programs on financial literacy, computer literacy and nutrition.

- SHEELD Community Development Corporation is affiliated with Shiloh Baptist Church and offers tutoring, according to a city services directory.

- Cathedral International CDC is affiliated  with Bishop Donald Hilliard's church, Cathedral International. Its mission includes job creation, economic development, life skills training and development of affordable housing.

- United Plainfield Community Development Corporation  is affiliated with United Church of Christ Congregational and offers many social services.

These are just some of the organizations that provide needed services to the community. Staff, volunteers and the institutions that support the work of CDCs are "doing for others" in their own quiet way.



  1. I am not a regular blog reader so I just noticed this today. Plainfield Grass Roots did not help organize the Mayor's Youth Summit. Grassroots Community Foundation, based in West Orange, organized the Youth Summit. Plainfield Grassroots is a Plainfield organization and did not play a role in the organizing youth summit. Dan Damon made the same mistake. These two separate organizations are not affiliated in any way..

    1. My apologies. I will note it in the post.

  2. Bernice, I just want to thank you for including the United Plainfield Community Development Corporation in your post. The United Plainfield CDC has supported English classes known as the Plainfield English School since 2007. These free classes for adults are designed for beginning English learners, and are especially appropriate for students who have not had much opportunity for formal education.