History & Mission
Developing Communities Project (DCP) was organized in 1984 as a branch of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) that sought to impact the massive lay-offs and manufacturing plant closings in Southeast Chicago in the 1970's and 1980's. As an arm of CCRC, DCP initiated local action campaigns to improve the quality of life for residents in Greater Roseland. In 1986, DCP was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the leadership of its first executive director, then community organizer and now President of the United States, Barack Obama. DCP remained church-based with the mission to serve as a vehicle for grassroots leaders to impact decision-making around issues that affect their lives.
For the past twenty-three years, thousands of residents have been mobilized to work for positive community change and equity through local churches and community based organizations. DCP accomplishes its mission by training and empowering residents with leadership, public policy, advocacy, and community organizing skills to address issues such as poverty, unemployment, urban violence, low educational achievement, public safety, environmental justice, and limited access to resources, especially transportation.
DCP's work is accomplished with a committed and diverse complement of volunteers, staff, and interns. Governance and oversight are provided by a Board of Directors comprised of community and business leaders and clergy and laity from member churches.
In 2006, DCP received a ShoreBank Faith-Based Community Impact Award and honorable mention for the 2006 Chicago Community Organizing Award that is sponsored by four local foundations. The following year, DCP received the 2007 Chicago Community Organizing Award.