Reckoning with Digital Inequity in Place-Based Community Revitalization


  • Sarah Hope Marshall Profound Hope Industries



Community Development, Digital Equity, Lending, Social Capital


Place-based community development in America has a rich history. Practices and procedures for successful redevelopment are supported by lobbying efforts, public administration, policy, federal funding, and the efforts of non-profits dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. Community revitalization work is often centered around specific geographic locations, while in recent decades modern technology has caused social networks to become increasingly geographically disparate. Social networks have been demonstrated to support the economic mobility that community development strives to create. However, the impact of modern technology on place-based community development has not been clearly understood. Increasing digitalization has impacted the effectiveness of place-based social equity efforts such as community organizing, affordable housing and economic development, and financial capability interventions. This essay explores how place-based community organizing led to the creation of current policies that govern community development, how technology has impacted urban communities and how these changes may subsequently affect social equity objectives in public administration.

Author Biography

  • Sarah Hope Marshall, Profound Hope Industries

    Sarah Hope Marshall is an experienced community development practitioner, executive leader, and accomplished speaker. In 2021, she founded Profound Hope Industries, a consulting agency dedicated to advancing economic equity through community development. Her prior work includes senior leadership roles in the financial services industry, including tenure as the CEO of a CDFI credit union. She previously sat on the Credit Union Advisory Council for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and currently serves on the State of Illinois Comptroller’s BankOn Advisory Committee to advance financial literacy and access to banking in the State of Illinois. Sarah Hope Marshall holds a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Cairn University, an MBA from North Park University, and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in leadership and ethics. Sarah Hope’s work has been featured in the National Cooperative Business Association Journal. She was also a regular contributor to CuInsight, an online financial services industry publication, from 2016–2020.






Social Equity Section

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