“For many African Americans, especially, the term gentrification taps into generalized fears rooted in their historical experience of being displaced and marginalized,” said Todd Swanstrom, a professor who studies neighborhood development and urban policy at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “They fear that their voices will not be heard and they have no control over the future of their neighborhoods.”
A foundation branches out
Equity Homes and its sister agency, the Community Impact Network, have quietly begun building and funding nonprofits in the nearly two dozen inner-ring suburbs that make up the Normandy School District.
Tax filings show their leaders and funding are tied to the Alvin Goldfarb Foundation, set up by the former CEO of Worth Stores Corp., a women’s apparel chain sold in the late 1970s.
Goldfarb, who died in 2008, is known for his donations to his alma mater, Washington University. The school of nursing bears his name. And Alvin Goldfarb Hall, part of the renowned Brown School of social work and social science, sits prominently along Forsyth Boulevard.
Goldfarb also quietly made sure his foundation would give generously to the north St. Louis community where Worth Stores had its headquarters, at 8515 Page Avenue in Vinita Park.
The foundation, operated by Clayton accountant Jean M. Cody, at first worked through the north St. Louis County community development corporation Beyond Housing and its sister agency, the 24:1 Community Land Trust.
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