“Zone Out” Systemic Racism – January 23, 2022

“Zone Out” Systemic Racism: New York City’s Racialized Zoning, the Role of Nonprofits, and the Working Class’ Fight to Stop Racist Displacement

January 23, 2022 – 6-8pm EST

Presentations by: Tom Angotti, Activist Urban Planner and Professor Emeritus, Hunter College and the Graduate Center; Sarah Ahn, Flushing Workers Center; Ed Figueroa, South Bronx Community Congress; Josephine Lee, El Pueblo Primero and Coalition to Protect Chinatown & the Lower East Side; Yanin Pena, NMASS LES Workers Center

Moderator: Kai Wen Yang, Youth Against Displacement

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrf-CorDMiHtDC1FStEVmPSJLVmxc-UrVX

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

“Zone Out” Systemic Racism will feature Tom Angotti, an activist urban planner and Professor Emeritus at Hunter College and the Graduate Center. Angotti is also the co-author of the well-received anthology of zoning case studies Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, And City Planning In New York City (2016). He will be joined by grassroots community organizers, Sarah Ahn (Flushing), Ed Figueroa (South Bronx), Josephine Lee and Yanin Pena (Chinatown/Lower East Side), who will share their experiences in organizing against racist rezoning. The presentation will be followed by a discussion that will focus on how systemic racism manifests in the city government’s rezoning plans and the compromising role nonprofits play in facilitating the city’s top-down developer-driven rezoning plans. Working-class community members are refusing to be “zoned out” and are pushing for community-led rezonings to protect and improve their communities, putting people before profit. The Peter Kwong Immigrant Workers Learning Center (PKIWLC), the event sponsor, invites and welcomes all who desire to learn about and fight against racism in our city.

Questions to consider: 

1) Who is behind New York City’s racist zoning and land use?  How do we fight against it? 

2.) Why have nonprofit housing advocacy organizations moved away from political demands (for instance, fighting against the city’s pro-real estate policies and privatization) to collaborating with luxury real estate developers for economic demands and small concessions (“affordable” housing or local employment)?

3.) What is the difference between fighting for community-led rezoning as opposed to mandatory “inclusionary” zoning, which requires developers to include “affordable” housing in rezoned areas to allow for more housing development?

4) What is the difference between fighting displacement by organizing tenants and fighting displacement by organizing members of a community?

Author: peterkwonglc

The Peter Kwong Immigrant Worker Learning Center strives to advance justice and meaningful change to immigrant workers, youth and veterans of justice struggles.

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