1970s

BUILD Begins: Rev. Vernon Dobson of Union Baptist Church, the late Rev. Wendell Phillips of the Heritage United Church of Christ and the late Msgr. Clare O’Dwyer of St. Matthews Catholic Church assembled the first 10 churches and initial money to form a Sponsoring Committee to start BUILD in 1977. The committee contracted with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest network of community organizations in the country. In those early days, BUILD focused on neighborhood issues such as obtaining better police protection, arson controls, improving housing and rat eradication. BUILD held its first City-Wide Convention in 1979 with 1,000 delegates representing 20 institutions.

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