CDP provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression.
CDP employs a unique model of partnership with grassroots and community-based groups. Our partners take the lead in determining the priorities and goals for our work, and advance our understanding of justice. This upends the traditional power dynamics between communities and service providers. We believe in a theory of change where short-term and individual successes help build the capacity and power of our partners, who in turn can have longer-term impact on policies, laws and systems that affect their communities. Our work has greater impact because it is done in connection with organizing, building power and leadership development.
CDP believes that community organizing should be at the center of any effort to create sustainable, systemic change. We partner with grassroots and community-based organizations that build leadership and power within New York City's low-income communities, particularly immigrants, communities of color and others who are traditionally excluded from policy-making.
The Community Development Project (CDP) was started in 2001 as a project of the Urban Justice Center. CDP supports grassroots and community-based groups in New York City in the areas of capacity building, consumer justice, equitable neighborhoods, tenants' rights & housing justice, immigrants' rights, participatory research and policy, and workers’ rights. We model our internal structure on anti-oppressive and democratic principles in order to create an environment that mirrors the progressive change we pursue through our work.