Talent retention is a top concern for companies right now, in an era when people are quitting their jobs in droves. But it might also be an important development strategy for low-income neighborhoods, according to the new book “Reclaiming Your Community: You Don’t Have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One.”
“People feel that, if they’re going to grow up and be somebody, they need to measure success by how far they get away from our communities. I happen to have been one of those kids that was taught that. And I think we can honestly say that we don’t have to do this,” said author Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategist, real estate developer and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient who lives and works in Hunts Point, the South Bronx neighborhood where she grew up.
In the book, Carter pursues a “better way” to do urban revitalization — to encourage homegrown economic development where residents can invest in their own communities. She also wrestles with criticism that development in low-income communities of color is often associated with the kind of gentrification that pushes people out of their homes.
“I’m not saying that talent retention is going to solve gentrification, but gentrification will not be fixed without talent retention because the underlying problem is the lack of wealth creation and retention in those same communities,” Carter said in an interview with Marketplace’s David Brancaccio. “Because when you think about it, gentrification generally involves outsiders coming in to change a community to suit [their] needs. Whereas reclaiming involves retaining the talent that is already there to improve our surroundings and our own economic future.”
This session is sponsored by FHLBank Indianapolis