Raheemah M. Jabbar-Bey

home Raheemah M. Jabbar-Bey

Raheemah Jabbar-Bey, M.S., is an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware, and Associate Policy Scientist in the Center for Community Research and Service where she specializes in Community Development, Neighborhood and Community Planning and Social Justice Issues. She has a Masters Degree in Community Economic Development (CED) from Southern New Hampshire University, Graduate School of CED. She is a nationally recognized practitioner and expert in community economic development with over 25 years field experience in Washington, D. C., Columbus, Ohio, Voorhees, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware.

Ms. Jabbar-Bey was a co-founder and served as the board chair of the CED Association of Delaware. She was twice elected to the board of the National Congress for Community Economic Development as a Northeast region director. This organization was the national voice for CED policies and practitioners for nearly 30 years. NCCED was established by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity during the Johnson Administration and by directors of the first generation of Community Development Corporations in the U.S. She has served on the boards of local community-based organizations in Delaware, such as Neighborhood House, Inc, in South Wilmington, the YWCA of Delaware, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, New Directions Early Head Start and NH Community Development Corporation. She is an appointee of two Delaware Governors as a Commissioner on the Advisory Council of the Neighborhood Assistance Act Program.

Her work in the Center for Community Research and Service, has primarily been in the fields of community development, community and neighborhood policy advocacy and development, and social and economic equity issues. She designed the Community-Based Development Training Program launched in 1994 and offered for 15 consecutive years. The training program consisted of 3 certification courses that were conducted over a 5-month time frame to a 7-week time frame. Ms. Jabbar-Bey designed these certifications to build the capacity of citizen leaders, community activists, bankers, local and state government department heads, elected officials and foundation staff to engage in and support Community-Based Economic Development. In addition to CED training, the program included certification courses in Brownfields Redevelopment and Environmental Justice and Faith-Based Community Development. The training program also offered short-term courses in Resource Development and Grant Writing, Board Development and Board Responsibilities, Understanding Nonprofit Financial Statements, and Advanced Courses in Commercial Real Estate Development by CDCs as well as, Affordable Housing Development by CDCs.

Most recently, she is leading the partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the Center for Community Research and Service in the development and implementation of a comprehensive community revitalization planning model, which is the Blueprint Communities Delaware Program. Since 2007, Ms. Jabbar-Bey has been responsible for assisting in the design of training and coaching services for the Blueprint Community Delaware core teams. She designs and facilitates training, identifies technical assistance areas and coaching assistance to some eleven (11) Delaware neighborhood and community planning teams whose goals is to develop community revitalization plans. Ms. Jabbar-Bey manages, supervises and trains the faculty, professionals and graduate research assistants who work with the individual Blueprint Community planning teams.

The theme of her professional work and research is to develop the capacity of people in economically distressed areas and who are members of marginalized societal groups to engage in obtaining knowledge, skill sets, and power to plan and implement the physical, economic, social and cultural enhancements that will improve the quality of their lives and those of their neighbors, as well as, the physical environment in which they live, work and play. She is a proponent of the integration of people and place-based development theories and strategies.

One of her major accomplishments is her work in public policy advocacy and development. Ms. Jabbar-Bey was the primary leader, over a three-year period, in mobilizing and educating a statewide constituency, to advocate for the development and support of a public policy that resulted in the creation of the Neighborhood Assistance Act. The Bill was sponsored by Senator Margaret Rose Henry and passed into law by the Delaware General Assembly in 2000. This Act creates opportunities for Delaware businesses, and now individuals, who pay Delaware taxes to directly contribute money, land, materials, and/or in-kind resources to community-based nonprofits throughout the state whose services and projects benefit low-wealth people and families or enhance an economically distressed area. Up to 50 percent of the value of the contribution would then become a tax credit for that business or individual.

Professor Jabbar-Bey has developed and teaches courses in the School of Public Policy and Administration for 18 years. Those courses are in the undergraduate Public Policy and Organizational and Community Leadership degree programs and in the graduate MA and PhD degree programs of Urban Affairs and Public Policy.

Some of those courses are:

  • Community Development Theory, Concepts and Practice
    Civic Engagement
  • Social Justice Organizing
  • Community Development and Nonprofit Leadership Seminar
    Citizens, Community and Change
  • Leadership for the Common Good


  • 1994 – Delaware Chapter, National Council of Christians and Jews, “Community Builder Award”, Wilmington, DE
  • 1994 &1996 – Delaware Chapter, Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, “Woman of History” Award
  • 1994 &1996 – 1996-2001 Selection panel member, National Community Development Fellows
    Program, APPAM, the Ford Foundation, and NCCED
  • 1998-1999 – Curriculum development and trainer, Office of Weed and Seed, U.S. Department of Justice and NCCED, Neighborhood Restoration Training Program (20-city national project); Focus of training on “Seeding” i.e., developing Community-Based Economic Development within Weed and Seed teams
  • 1999 – African-American Woman of Distinction award, City of Wilmington City Council, Wilmington Housing Authority and the Office of the Mayor, City of Wilmington, DE
  • 1999 – Woman of Distinction award, Afro-American Historical Society of Delaware
  • 2000 – Co-recipient, Best Practice Award, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for the First Delaware Faith-Based Community Development Symposium, with Citi Bank Delaware
  • 2000-2002 – Delaware Commissioner, Neighborhood Assistance Act Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Thomas Carper
  • 2001 – Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware, “Community Leader” award
  • 2002 – Invited by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as An official Representative of Wilmington to attend White House Community Empowerment Zone Conference
  • 2002-2004 – Delaware Commissioner, Neighborhood Assistance Act Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Thomas R; Carper
  • 2006-2008 – Delaware Commissioner, Neighborhood Assistance Act Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner
  • 2006-2010 – Elected to the Board of Directors, Neighborhood House, Inc.
  • 2008 – YWCA of Delaware Service Award, “Evening of Style”, honored for her service work in uplifting women and people of color in socially and economically distressed circumstances, through the development and provision of training and civic responsibilities, to be fully engaged in developing the quality of life in the communities in which they live and work
  • 2008-2012 – Elected Vice President of the Neighborhood House Community Development Corporation Board of Directors

Peer Reviewed Publications

Barnekov, Timothy and R. Jabbar-Bey. Credit and Development Financing for Low-Income and minority Communities; Community Development Financial Institutions in the United States. Journal of British Regional Studies Association, 1993.

Wilder, Margaret, R. Jabbar-Bey, B. Sherif, J. Taliaferro and H. Delpeche. “Family Support and Community Development: Forging A Practical Nexus to Strengthen Families and Communities”. Center for Community Development and Family Support, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, 2003.

Wilder, Margaret, R. Jabbar-Bey, J. Taliaferro, and B. Sherif-Trask, CED Practice in the United States, in an edited volume by Eric Schragge and Michael Toye. Community Economic Development: Building for Social Change, Cape Breton University Press, Novia Scotia, CANADA, 2006.