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Symposium: Looking Back to Move Forward: 40 Years of Community-Led Transformation (ML931)

Pittsburgh, PA • Dec. 5, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Made possible with generous support from Freddie Mac logo  FHL Bank logo PNC Logo

  • Agenda (Our agenda for this symposium is evolving quickly. To stay on top of the latest additions and begin to focus the perspectives and questions you’ll bring to this event, visit us regularly.)
  • Symposium Speakers

What will the next 40 years demand?

In 1968, the collective efforts of Northside Pittsburgh residents led to the creation of the first Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) organization. Dorothy Mae Richardson was among the many who knew her community was valuable, and she was ready to take the lead in protecting it. To achieve her goal, she brought together neighbors, local government officials, and bank staff to find a solution. They persuaded the banks to extend loans to residents previously labeled “unbankable” so they could improve their homes or buy them from slumlords. She created a new model of community development, centering on the rights of residents to safe, healthy and affordable housing options.

This symposium will be an opportunity to reconnect to our organization’s origins, recommit to community, and bring the focus back to residents like Dorothy Richardson, who continue to fight tirelessly for underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods across the country. 

Throughout this inspiring day, we’ll discuss:

  • The value of inclusive practices that emphasize the resident voice in community development
  • How we honor, incorporate and optimize existing community assets
  • Innovative strategies for developing resident leaders of all ages and from all backgrounds


We’ll draw on the important experiences of Dorothy Richardson awardees, Community Leadership Institute participants and other influential members of communities across the country who are working  to make a difference.

  • Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Senior Staff
  • Board Members
  • Practitioners on the front lines of Community Revitalization
  • Program Officers from Foundations and Funders
  • NeighborWorks Members and Staff interested in the history of NeighborWorks America
  • Resident Leaders