The Center for Community Change believes that all people have the right to get decent wages, benefits, and working conditions. The Center with community-led, grassroots organizations that cross ethnic, geographic and issue boundaries to achieve economic and social justice at the local, state and national levels.
The Center and our partners advocate for a bold jobs agenda to jump start the economy and relieve the massive suffering caused by historic levels of unemployment and underemployment. We fight to make sure that an unfair burden does not fall on the shoulders of Americans who have to live paycheck to paycheck. Our work focuses on four core constituencies - African Americans, new immigrants, Native Americans and low-income white people - that are particularly vulnerable in the current economic and political climate. The Center prioritizes work in these communities as a path to improving the country for everyone.
The financial crisis and the recession that followed it have exposed deep and persistent inequities in our economy, from income to wealth, opportunity to security. While the crisis caused record level unemployment, precipitated widespread foreclosures, and wiped out a decade of wealth, it was also a symptom of something larger – an economy rigged to benefit and protect the most well-off, and constructed on a foundation of low quality, low wage jobs that have eroded the American Dream for too many workers.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we are working to increase the capacity and engagement of community organizations on issues related to the economy and to identify and promote strategies that can create good jobs at scale. Central to these efforts are the principles that the economy grows best when prosperity is shared, when workers can be assured of a decent day’s pay for decent work, and when government plays an active role to create jobs, regulate markets, and seed opportunities that will revitalize our communities.
Our work to create a new economy is premised on partnerships – with academics, researchers, other national organizations, and of course our grassroots partners around the country. Prosperity Economics, our collaboration with Jacob Hacker and Nate Lowentheil, serves as a blueprint for community groups and policy makers at the federal level dedicated to advancing the interests of all workers, reducing inequality, protecting our environment, and restoring our democracy. In addition, we are working to incubate and lift up local successes around organizing and job creation and craft them into a broader movement for economic change, particularly for the low income people and people of color who are likely to be left behind even as the economy recovers. For ideas about how community organizations can create good quality jobs, click here. For more on our movement building work in the field, click here.