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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Judith Anglin
January 11, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.40
Oral History Interview with James E. Shipp
James E. Shipp (born 1941) grew up in Illinois, where he attended high school and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University in 1964. He earned a master's degree in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and a master's degree in urban studies from Occidental College. After his studies, Shipp worked as a youth gang counselor in Chicago's juvenile justice system, where he developed an interest in community economic development as a way to fight juvenile delinquency. Shipp's involvement in a Ford Foundation-funded training program led to a mentorship under Franklin Thomas, and eventually to his role with Restoration in Brooklyn. Shipp served as Restoration's first vice president, from its inception in 1969 through 1979. After leaving Restoration, Shipp served as the chief executive officer of Cummins Metropower, the distribution and service arm of Cummins Engine Company, a manufacturer of diesel engines.
In this interview, James E. Shipp provides a short biography of his professional career, beginning with his time as a youth gang counselor in Chicago's juvenile justice system. He describes the realization that juvenile delinquency is caused by dysfunctional community systems, and his determination to build healthier urban communities. Shipp details his path to Restoration; laying out Restoration's essential role and functions. Shipp details Restoration's evolution as an institution, lists its successes in human and capital investment, and advocates for the confinement of its activities to housing renovation and commercial development. At the interview's end, Shipp reflects on Restoration's legacy and major successes, and gives an optimistic prognosis of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn's economic future. Interview conducted by Judith Anglin.
Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) partnered on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral history project in 2007-2008 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Restoration's founding as the first community development corporation (CDC) in the United States. Nearly sixty interviews were conducted with founding Board members, supporters, activists, artists, tenants, and other community members. Audio clips from these oral history interviews were included in the exhibit "Reflections on Community Development: Stories from Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation" (BHS 2008, Restoration 2009).
CitationShipp, James, Oral history interview conducted by Judith Anglin, January 11, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.40; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
- Shipp, James E.
- Thomas, Franklin A.
- Community development corporations
- Discrimination in mortgage loans
- Economic development
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories