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Where do we go from here? Community participation and empowerment in the empowerment zone : Atlanta, 1994-2002

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dc.contributor.advisor Hotchkiss, Charles Jackson, Deborah A. 2010-04-22T12:40:03Z 2010-04-22T12:40:03Z 2009
dc.description.abstract The concepts of community participation and community empowerment have been the focus of several federal programs, such as the Empowerment Zone (EZ), that were designed to alleviate some of the causes of poverty found in urban areas. This research examines what impact those concepts had on conditions within targeted communities from the perspective of community representatives whose voice is not often heard. The study analyzes the impact the EZ program had on strengthening the community’s ability to take control of and/or influence decisions affecting its quality of life. The research proposes a conceptual framework of community participation as empowerment and demonstrates the need for a more holistic approach to comprehensive planning initiatives. The framework identifies the factors that are needed to make participation meaningful or effective – exercise of power; access to resources; and identification of results or benefits for the community. This dissertation uses a case study research design and qualitative data collection methods to examine four neighborhoods of the Atlanta Empowerment Zone (AEZ) that were also part of the Model Cities Program in the 1970’s. Although there was strong emphasis on the importance of community participation and community empowerment as key components of the strategy, no clear definition or guidance was provided as to how the participation requirement would be implemented. Likewise, it was unclear what was intended by empowerment. The research findings show the community representatives encountered significant barriers to their participation in the decision-making processes. Among these were the absolute control exercised by the mayor’s office thwarting community recommendations; and the lack of adequate resources to support independent actions by the community. The research identifies that the real issue is about power: Who has power? How can a more equitable distribution of power be attained? The overall findings also demonstrate that even where the factor of race is not an overt driving force, the institutionalization of the historic effects of racism, which is directly tied to the conditions of persistent poverty and the lack of power, must be addressed; or there will be no significant change in the conditions of communities affected by poverty. (Author abstract) en_US
dc.format.extent 13066125 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 1039906 bytes en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Southern New Hampshire University en_US
dc.relation.requires Adobe Acrobat Reader en_US
dc.rights Author retains all ownership rights. Further reproduction in violation of copyright is prohibited en_US
dc.source Original format: Bound CED Project Report, Shapiro Library, Southern New Hampshire University en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Southern New Hampshire University -- Theses (Community Economic Development) en_US
dc.subject.other community participation en_US
dc.subject.other empowerment zone en_US
dc.subject.other citizen participation en_US
dc.subject.other model cities en_US
dc.subject.other African American en_US
dc.subject.other Atlanta (GA) en_US
dc.subject.other Georgia (US) en_US
dc.title Where do we go from here? Community participation and empowerment in the empowerment zone : Atlanta, 1994-2002 en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Karush, Gerald
dc.contributor.committeeMember Reilly, Catherine
dc.description.bibliographicCitation Jackson, D. A. (2009). Where do we go from here? Community participation and empowerment in the empowerment zone : Atlanta, 1994-2002. Retrieved from en_US Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) en_US School of Community Economic Development en_US
dc.digSpecs Creation hardware: Epson Expression 10000XL Color Flatbed Scanner. Creation software: ABBYY FineReader Professional 9.0; Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.0 en_US
dc.format.mediaType PDF en_US
dc.rightsHolder Jackson, Deborah A.

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