Gentrification Event Series to be Presented by We are/Somos Logan Square

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—January 7, 2015. On January 14th – 24th, 2015, We are/Somos Logan Square will unpack gentrification through a series of educational and participatory events to connect the residents of Logan Square, and beyond, to better understand how gentrification actually works and that is not a natural force or inevitable. We’ll explore the roles that developers and big banks play. We’ll talk about racism and class lines. We’ll talk about the devastating impact of high rent on a population that is mostly young, underemployed, and often mired in student debt. We’ve invited housing, youth and social service leaders, financial experts and local academics to flesh out how we can move forward together to create a more stable neighborhood for everyone.

“As a cultural anthropologist who researches this, and as a kid who grew up in Logan Square, I can tell you that gentrification is the defining urban struggle of our time,” says Dr. Jesse Mumm, Northeastern Illinois University.  “We are all talking about it, but few of us truly understand it as it is in Chicago: a racial fix that creates profit out of displacement, disrupts and disperses communities, and ultimately relies on and produces both overt and covert racism.”

This series of events will challenge the myths people hold – consciously or not – leading to actions for us to move forward, together as a community, to ensure that we grow in sustainable ways that keeps our neighborhood vibrant with diversity, both economic and racial. The following is an outline of the events:

The Basics: What is gentrification and how does it impact all of us?
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
7:00-8:30 pm
Grace Methodist Church
3325 W. Wrightwood Ave.
 
History of Gentrification: Giving historical context to neighborhood change to learn from the past.
Saturday, January 17th, 2015
12:00-1:30 pm
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
2649 N. Francisco Ave
Racism and Classism: How and why displacement of minorities and poor people happens?
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
7:00-8:30 pm
Grace Methodist Church
3325 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Affordability saving Diversity:

Exploring ways the community can improve while preserving economic and racial diversity.
Saturday, January 24th, 2015
12:00-1:30 pm
Humboldt Park United Methodist Church 2122 N. Mozart St.

“Decisions for our neighborhood shouldn’t be made by those who only seek a prolific profit. Decisions should be made by those who believe in the potential a neighborhood holds and helps the ones inhabiting to grow within it!” says Patricia Padilla, a member of We are/Somos Logan Square and former life-long resident of Logan Square who was evicted last winter by M. Fishman Co., along with her family, from the apartment they rented for 13 years.

Event details:  The complete schedule can be found at www.facebook.com/weare.somos.LSQ. Translation into Spanish will be available and a children’s table with activities for families will be provided.

About We Are/Somos Logan Square: We Are/Somos Logan Square is a grassroots organization born out of the mass evictions of tenants from M. Fishman properties last winter. Our mission is to empower the community through dialogue and action, to stop evictions and build more affordable housing.You can join us at  www.facebook.com/weare.somos.LSQ or @WeAreLSQ on twitter.

Source: WeAreLSQ