Excerpt from the Covenant with Black America

In the United States today, where you live literally determines access to opportunity. Your address dictates whether you will have access to good schools and jobs, grocery stores, parks, and other important amenities. The availability of affordable housing in neighborhoods of rich opportunity, therefore, has become the next battleground in the fight for black people to fully participate and thrive. Many opportunity-rich neighborhoods are not accessible to African Americans because of policies and practices that are exclusionary. For example, despite laws against housing discrimination, it is still quite prevalent and most likely to be practiced against black people. Too many neighborhoods with good schools and desirable amenities are too expensive and do not allow renters. Some communities present so much hostility toward blacks who do move there that black people are discouraged from attempting to even move into those neighborhoods. Achieving access to affordable housing in communities that can provide opportunity is difficult for too many African American families.

Our challenge as advocates, policy-makers, journalists, faith leaders, community activists, and local residents and business people is to ensure urban revitalization works for African Americans and low-income people of color; neighborhood reinvestment must not displace and further isolate low-income communities of color, but rather connect them to good jobs, educational opportunities, high-quality affordable housing, comprehensive public transit systems, parks, and cultural amenities essential to living a healthy, productive life.

-excerpt from Angela Glover Blackwell's essay in the Covenant with Black America

To read the rest of this essay, please click here to buy the book.

Organizations Advocating For Change


YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.

YouthBuild USA has represented and advocated for YouthBuild programs by:

Other organizations

  • Bringing more than $645 million in federal funds to low-income communities for more than 200 YouthBuild programs;
  • Coordinating the 1,000-member national YouthBuild Coalition to build majority bipartisan support in both houses of Congress;
  • Supporting the development of state-level YouthBuild coalitions that design policies that positively affect poor young people in their communities;
  • Working with YouthBuild programs to bring public attention to the YouthBuild network and issues facing youth in transition.

Find out more about Find out more about Youth Build

The Jamestown Project
Healthcare and Well-Being
Criminal Justice
Police Accountability
Affordable Neighborhoods
Rural Development
Economic Prosperity
Environmental Justice
Digital Divide
Advocating for Change
Youth Call To Action
Plan A Town Hall Meeting
Covenant Curricula

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