University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 1/1995
Revitalizing a Wilmington, Del., neighborhood

     A series of exciting revitalization programs are underway for
Wilmington, Del.'s, Southbridge neighborhood, thanks to the
combined efforts of the UD centers for Community Development and
for Black Culture, the Wilmington-based community center
Neighborhood House and a new national program, Public Allies.
     The groups-all of which include UD alumni and staff-are
joining forces to promote economic development in Southbridge and
to encourage neighborhood youth to pursue educational
opportunities beyond high school.
     UD graduate and undergraduate students are working with
Neighborhood House youth, as the Center for Community Development
simultaneously focuses on economic development initiatives in
Southbridge. Both projects are supported by Public Allies, which
has assigned an intern to coordinate the work with youth and to
set up and monitor community service projects. Part of the
Americorps national service program, Public Allies is funded by
federal and local monies.
     Programs planned in conjunction with the Center for
Community Development include a survey of neighborhood businesses
and residents to determine banking needs and the feasibility of
establishing a banking facility in Southbridge. In addition, the
center will develop a neighborhood income statement and balance
sheet, which will summarize the neighborhood's economic
resources. The document can then be used as a resource for
community and economic development.
     Timothy Barnekov, director of the Center for Community
Development, and Bryan Nance, a graduate research assistant in
the center, are working with Wayne Brown, Delaware '71, director
of Neighborhood House, to implement the bank survey and economic
     "I am excited about this collaboration," Brown says. "It is
a win-win situation for all of the organizations involved.
Hopefully, it can be a model for efforts in other communities in
     The UD Center for Black Culture's mentoring program is a
community outreach component of the program, "Each One Reach
One." The program, designed for upperclass students to mentor
incoming freshmen, was developed during 1994-95, based on the
seven principles of Kwanzaa and ROADS-an acronym for Responses,
Order, Attitude, Discipline and Spirituality. The goal is to
teach students to be responsible citizens in the University and
surrounding community, and the concept of giving something back
to others is a key part of the program.
     "This project gives UD African-American students an
opportunity to reach back and help African-American youth,"
Vernese Edghill, Delaware '72, director of the center, says.
     "I think the value of this partnership is that it gives
context to populations that can benefit from University of
Delaware services, and it's a two-way relationship that also
gives back to the University students who are involved," Antoine
Allen, Delaware '93, director of Public Allies, says.
     Ayanna Brown is the Public Ally appointed to coordinate the
project and serve as community outreach coordinator. A 1994 UD
history graduate, she is a graduate student in the College of
Urban Affairs and Public Policy.