Sociology and Anthropology
This paper was to written about 2008 for an edited volume on churches engaged in building community -- a volume that never appeared. It uses the lens of social capital to describe the efforts of church groups in two cities to help poor communities take change of their own destinies. It traces the work of Communities Organized for Public Service ("COPS") and Metro Alliance in San Antonio, Texas to empower people in the city's poorer neighborhoods to demand their fair share of city services. It also describes the work begun at Dolores (Catholic) Mission in East Los Angeles to empower its largely Latino lay members to confront -- and then work with -- police, immigration officials, and other authorities. It concludes with some reflections on the effects such activities have for the development of both social and civic capital.
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