Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) evolved from the Kansas City Organization Project (KCOP). KCOP formed in 1977 with religious and community leaders to respond to the rapid racial transition and financial disinvestment in the city’s Southeast neighborhoods. As black families moved into these communities in the mid-70’s, white families moved out in droves. Subsequently, real estate values dropped, lending in the area froze, and insurance rates skyrocketed. Increases in poverty and crime rates followed. KCOP provided community residents with the organizational tools and leadership training to address these trends and enhance their communities.
In 1984, KCOP became Kansas City Church Community Organization to reflect its congregation and neighborhood-based model of community organizing. While continuing in its tradition of faith-based community organizing, CCO adopted a new name in 2007, Communities Creating Opportunity, to include all religous traditions and other community partners. The well-recognized acronym, CCO, continues as the organization’s principal signature.