A workshop explores Rochester's history of racist and discriminatory property use and housing practices throughout urban development. It’s called “History of Rochester Gentrification.”
Organizer and founder of the sponsoring grassroots nonprofit “540 West Main,” Calvin Eaton says issues such as poverty, systemic and institutional racism that are swept under the rug are major elements, that have for decades, influenced downtown and inner city gentrification.
The workshop not only focuses on the problems faced with gentrification but explores possible solutions.
“When someone wants to make a neighborhood better, actually tap into the residents who already live there and not exclude them from the table as to what our neighborhood should look like,” stated Eaton.
540’s new “History of Rochester Gentrification” course was taught by Shane Wiegand, who teaches fourth grade in the Rush Henrietta Central School District and is also treasurer on the board of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, sits on the Connected Communities Housing Committee, and is the outreach chair of the City Roots Community Land Trust.
The event was held at the former home of the Fredrick Douglass Resource Center and is part of its Second Annual “Fit, Well, & Sustainable” campaign.