What are Community Banks?

February 5, 2016


This episode documents the story of the Shorebank of Chicago, a small neighborhood community bank, and its successor banks. In the 1970s there was a large migration of Afro-Americans from the Southern regions of the United States to the North. As a result of unproven fears, in many Northern cities such as Chicago, white families migrated to what they perceived to be safe, and racially unmixed suburban communities. The immediate result was a series of blighted neighborhoods of mostly Afro-American impoverished families.  During that period no major bank would lend money to help restore these neighborhoods. Only the Shorebank, a small start-up organization founded by Ron Grzywinski and Mary Houghton took on development projects in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago.  Their courageous endeavor and the succeeding banks they founded is an enduring story of community development and commitment to social change.

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