October 17, 1996
University Gazette


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  Black Church Video Series on Economic Development Available

The Divinity School's Black Church Project has completed the production of a video series and workbook on church-based economic development.

The series features excerpts from speeches, panel discussions, and case studies presented at a 1994 conference on "The Black Church's Economic Responsibility for a New Urban Agenda." The conference was cosponsored by the Divinity School's Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and the National Council of Churches in Christ in the U.S.A. Funded with grants from the Ford Foundation and the Chase Manhattan Bank, the series of five videotapes is designed to serve as a teaching tool for congregations seeking to initiate programs in community and economic development.

The first tape is an orientation to the series and features major conference addresses by the Rev. Wyatt T. Walker, senior pastor of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in New York City, and Henry Cisneros, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who spoke on the importance of church leadership in the revitalization of urban communities.

The second tape highlights four models of church-based community development.

The third tape examines two specific case studies, at Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton, Mass., and Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the fourth tape features panel discussions on community development banks, financial corporations, and economic development through church resources.

The final tape presents as a model the economic development program at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, as well as excerpts from workshops on topics such as stewardship, land acquisition, and church/business collaboration.

Conference speakers and presenters included the Rev. Fred Lucas (Bridge Street AME Church, Brooklyn), the Rev. Wallace C. Smith (Shiloh Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.), Mark Whitlock (First AME Church, Los Angeles), and the Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood (St. Paul Community Baptist Church, Brooklyn). Also Professor William Apgar (Kennedy School of Government), Michael Bennett (South Shore Bank, Chicago), Gloria Brown (Witness and Justice Ministries of the Episcopal Church, New York City), Professor Gregory Dees (Harvard Business School), Kenneth Dobson (Economic Growth Corp., Detroit), Jean Smith (Chase Community Development Corp., New York City), Professor David Thomas (Harvard Business School), Sondra Townsend-Browne (National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions), and Nellie Varner (NMV Associates, Detroit).

The video series and an accompanying workbook were completed under the direction of Preston Williams, Houghton Professor of Theology and Contemporary Change. Doctoral student D. Pulane Evans, MBA '91, MTS '94, served as project coordinator and video narrator. The complete series and workbook may be purchased for $100.

Individual tapes are available for $20. Each order must include the orientation tape and workbook and at least one additional tape from the series. To purchase tapes or to receive more information, call or write The Black Church Video Series, Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 496-3586.


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