Urban waters’ practitioners need to consider gentrification and displacement in their work. Greening neighborhoods and improving water quality in urban rivers is intended to create healthier neighborhoods, yet the impact on historically marginalized communities isn’t always positive as environmental improvements can also raise the cost of living in a region. In some cases, greening results in further marginalization.
Members of the Urban Waters Learning Network Equitable Development Collaborative hosted this recorded session about Community Education and Leadership in March 2021. Advancing community education and building leadership is a crucial step in the development of anti-displacement strategies, like preserving affordable housing and other policies that keep communities in place.
Moderators: Arthur Johnson (Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development) and Liz Balladares (Passaic River Urban Waters Federal Partnership).
Panelists: Daniel Wiley, Ironbound Community Corporation (Newark, NJ); Iris Gonzalez, Coalition of Environment Equity and Resilience (Houston, TX) and Kate Derickson, CREATE Initiative (University of Minnesota).
Additional Resources Shared During the Call
- Confronting Disproportionate Impacts and Systemic Racism in Environmental Policy by Charles Lee
- Fostering Community-Led Research and Knowledge Toolkit, by River Network
- Right to the City, a national coalition that advocates against displacement of BIPOC and low income community members and for affordable housing
- Urban Waters Learning Network
- Ironbound Community Corporation, Inc.
- The Mothers of Terrell Homes, documentary about a public housing complex facing closure
- Newark’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
- Newark’s Rent Control Ordinance
- Newark’s Right to Counsel for Evictions Ordinance and initiative:
- Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience (CEER)
- CEER’s leadership development programs on climate justice
- CEER’s Guidelines for Academic Partnerships
- Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force
- Harris County’s Home Buyout Program
University of Minnesota