It was a historic day for community development organizations in Newark.
Experts from community development corporations (also known as CDCs) across the city gathered for the first ever Newark Neighborhood Community Development Summit. The one-day event, held at Rutgers University-Newark, brought together experts from organizations such as New Community, La Casa de Don Pedro, Ironbound Community Corporation, Unified Vailsburg Services Organization and other agencies. The Newark Community Development Network hosted the summit, which was sponsored by the City of Newark, Rutgers University-Newark, Newark 350, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey and Greater Newark LISC.
Richard Cammarieri, director of Special Projects at New Community, serves as chair of the NCDN and spearheaded the organizing of the summit.
The educational event featured three panels that reflected on the history of CDCs, surveyed their present-day activities and looked to the future of the roles they would play in Newark. At the conclusion, attendees were given a “call to action” and posted their ideas, concerns and feedback on poster boards.
New Community CEO Richard Rohrman highlighted NCC’s present work in Newark and beyond. Cammarieri provided a history of New Community’s beginnings, which came from the aftermath of the civil disturbances in 1967 when Monsignor William J. Linder and a small group of residents came together to address issues such as the lack of housing, childcare and jobs.
NCDN is a group of Newark’s neighborhood-based CDCs that share a mission to advance just and equitable housing and community development.