Working against gentrification in Roxbury

July 21, 2008

Stop Robbing OUR 'Hood

As part of the Radical Organizing Conference Summer Institute last Wednesday, ACE hosted a workshop on gentrification called "Stop Robbing Our ‘Hood." Led by T-Riders Union Chair and ACE board member Lisa Sadika Edwards, the workshop covered development issues in Roxbury.

The session began with a discussion of gentrification and its impact in the community. Gentrification occurs when money is invested to improve a neighborhood, ultimately raising the cost of housing. This displaces lower income people, frequently people of color, and allows wealthier folks to move in. The result is a catch 22 where residents who work to revitalize a neighborhood may eventually be priced out of living there.

Recent developments in Roxbury include the redevelopment of the Ferdinand Building and the creation of a new Police Station. Additionally, the arrival of higher end chain stores is making it difficult for family-owned stores to compete. Gentrification is a growing issue nationally as the gap between the rich and poor is steadily increasing, concentrating political clout in the hands of the wealthy.

ACE is facilitating the creation of a community-designed vision for Dudley Square. If you are interested in participating, please attend the Community Committee Meeting on Wednesday, August 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at ACE. For more information contact Khalida.