LOGAN SQUARE — An educational workshop series aimed at “unpacking gentrification” kicks off Wednesday in Logan Square and will continue throughout January.
We Are Logan Square aims to connect area residents to a better understanding of how gentrification works, according to a news release for the series.
Hosts Amie Sell and members of We Are Logan Square will explore the roles that developers and big banks play in gentrifying the neighborhood — addressing issues of race in the process.
“We’ll talk about the devastating impact of high rent on a population that is mostly young, underemployed, and often mired in student debt,” Sell said. “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.”
The series of events will challenge the myths people hold, whether consciously or not, according to Sell, leading to actions to “ensure that we grow in sustainable ways that keeps our neighborhood vibrant with diversity.”
“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,” said Professor Jesse Mumm of 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.”
A schedule of the four free events is as follows:
The Basics: What is gentrification and how does it impact all of us? 7‐8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Grace Methodist Church, 3325 W. Wrightwood Ave.
History of Gentrification: Giving historical context to neighborhood change to learn from the past. Noon-1:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 2649 N. Francisco Ave.
Racism and Classism: How and why displacement of minorities and poor people happens? 7‐8:30 p.m. Jan 21, Grace Methodist Church, 3325 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Affordability saving Diversity: Exploring ways the community can improve while preserving economic and racial diversity. Noon‐1:30 p.m. Jan 24, Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, 2122 N. Mozart St.
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