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Reclaiming your community : you don't have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one
Where is it?
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Majora Carter shows how brain drain cripples low-status communities and maps out a development strategy focused on talent retention to help them break out of economic stagnation.

"My musical, In the Heights, explores issues of community, gentrification, identity and home, and the question- Are happy endings only ones that involve getting out of your neighborhood to achieve your dreams? In her refreshing new book, Majora Carter writes about these issues with great insight and clarity, asking us to re-examine our notions of what community development is and how we invest in the futures of our hometowns. This is an exciting conversation worth joining."
-Lin-Manuel Miranda

How can we solve the problem of persistent poverty in low-status communities? Majora Carter argues that these areas need a talent-retention strategy, just like the ones companies have. Retaining homegrown talent is a critical part of creating a strong local economy that can resist gentrification. But too many people born in low-status communities measure their success by how far away from them they can get.

Carter, who could have been one of them, returned to the South Bronx and devised a development strategy rooted in the conviction that these communities have the resources within themselves to succeed. She advocates measures such as

Building mixed-income instead of exclusively low-income housing to create a diverse and robust economic ecosystemShowing homeowners how to maximize the long-term value of their property so they won't succumb to quick-cash offers from speculatorsKeeping people and dollars in the community by developing vibrant "third spaces"-restaurants, bookstores, and places like Carter's own Boogie Down Grind Cafe
This is a profoundly personal book. Carter writes about her brother's murder, how turning a local dumping ground into an award-winning park opened her eyes to the hidden potential in her community, her struggles as a woman of color confronting the "male and pale" real estate and nonprofit establishments, and much more. It is a powerful rethinking of poverty, economic development, and the meaning of success.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Glossary of Terms I Usep. xiii
Introduction: There Goes the Neighborhoodp. 1
Chapter 1Measuring Success by How Far You Get Away from Your Communityp. 5
Chapter 2Geeky Little Kid in the Ghettop. 9
Chapter 3Conditions for Brain Drain: How to Disinvite Your Hometown Heroesp. 19
Chapter 4When Everything Tells You the Same Thing, You'll Probably Believe Itp. 27
Chapter 5Daring to Name Our Dreamsp. 33
Chapter 6Convenient Prey: If You're Not at the Table, You're on the Menup. 43
Chapter 7Why Must We Do Real Estate Development the Same Old Way?p. 51
Chapter 8Success Doesn't Live around Here for Longp. 57
Chapter 9If They Don't See It, They Won't Believe Itp. 71
Chapter 10Garbage and a Golden Ballp. 73
Chapter 11Despite Incredulity, Planning with Joyp. 83
Chapter 12Stay in Your Lanep. 91
Chapter 13Selloutp. 105
Chapter 14Controversy: Teachable Momentsp. 121
Chapter 15So What Is the Problem?p. 133
Chapter 16Constant Yearningp. 139
Chapter 17The Illusion of a Perfect Opportunityp. 151
Chapter 18Real-Life Examples Form a New Narrativep. 167
Chapter 19Idea to Reality = Discipline + Work + Timep. 183
Epiloguep. 193
Discussion Guidep. 197
Notesp. 201
Acknowledgmentsp. 209
Indexp. 211
About the Authorp. 223
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