In 1969, a vision for a new community rooted in economic cooperation, mutual care, and self-determination took hold in southwestern Georgia, in resistance to accelerating Black land loss and violent repression of Civil Rights organizing. Drawing on collective land stewardship practices found throughout the world, the New Communities, Inc. land trust was founded to prevent displacement and promote Black economic prosperity through community-owned land. Widely recognized as the first community land trust (CLT) in the U.S, New Communities has since inspired communities across the country to organize CLTs to advance racial, economic and environmental justice, and repair a long history of violence and discriminatory public and private sector policies. 

This LISC Institute webinar will uplift the ongoing significance of New Communities to movements for Black lives, land, and liberation. In conversation with Shirley Sherrod, co-founder of New Communities, CLT leaders from Baltimore, Houston, New York City, and Seattle will reflect on how CLTs can help combat Black land loss and displacement, build community wealth, and strengthen community health and care, and the support needed to scale and sustain this work over multiple generations. 


  • Athena Bernkopf, Project Coordinator, East Harlem El Barrio CLT
  • Julia Duranti-Martínez, Program Officer for Capacity & Research, LISC


  • Shirley Sherrod, Co-Founder, New Communities, Inc. and Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc.
  • Ashley Allen, Executive Director, Houston CLT
  • Carlos Sanchez, Youth Leader, and Meleny Thomas, Development Without Displacement Director, South Baltimore CLT
  • Danise Jones-Dorsey, Board Chair, Northeast Housing Initiative
  • Wyking Garrett, President, Africatown CLT
  • Debra Ack, Board Secretary, and Albert Scott, Board President, East New York CLT
June 29th
11:00AM - 12:30PM
Online Event