In 1949, eighteen minority families were threatened with losing their homes in Ridgewood because the landlord wanted to renovate the dilapidated buildings and raise the rents. Unitarian Society member Ruland Anderson took the first steps to create the Broad Ridge Housing Corporation. Under his leadership one thousand Ridgewood families, twenty churches, forty-two organizations, The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, and each tenant of the buildings bought shares to purchase and repair the buildings. In the following 30 years, the tenants bought back the outstanding shares and became full owners.
The social consciousness, sense of empowerment, and support afforded by our Society has provided the bedrock for much of the individual action undertaken by our members. Throughout our history members of this Society have been the driving force behind an astonishing number of projects designed to further social justice, enhance understanding and compassion and provide aid to those in need. (Adapted from Unitarians in Ridgewood by Doris Armstrong.)