The paradoxical consequences of the white house faith-based and community initiative for black churches

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Abstract

This article examines black churches located in economically challenged neighborhoods in a northeastern US city. Employing the concepts of the organizational divide and Heek's design-actuality model, we conducted interviews with clergy at seven black churches to understand their level of information and communication technology (ICT) use and capacity to secure funding from the White House Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives (FBCI). Through the use of e-government services, the FBCI is expanding public-private partnerships with faith-based organizations to implement social programs that address community challenges. Our findings suggest that black churches are rich storehouses of local information and have a long history of providing social support and spiritual strength. This may make them logical beneficiaries of the FBCI. Paradoxically, the black churches that provide social programs to economically challenged citizens are often underresourced and lack the organizational capacity to secure FBCI resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-636
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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