Workshop on race, class and space in NYC

Research news

Tuesday 13 August 2013

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Centre professor Harris Beider recently led a successful workshop in New York City which extended the Columbia University In The City of New Yorkapplicability of his Joseph Rowntree Foundations report - White working class views of neighbourhood, cohesion and change - to the US context. The workshop, Changing in Place, took place in a number of different locations across New York City from the 29-31 July 2013. The core participants included academics from Columbia, City University of New York, and University of Illinois in Chicago as well as senior managers from the Open Society and Joseph Rowntree Foundations. The workshop enabled participants to discuss issues of marginalisation, political disconnection and identity with community organisations, activists and residents in Hells Kitchen Manhattan, Staten Island, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst Brooklyn and University Heights in The Bronx before concluding with a plenary session at Columbia University.

The workshop enabled clarity of comparison between the US and UK. Governance, systems and community structures are very different but the social problems – disconnection, mistrust of institutions, marginality, community change – are similar. This will provide the basis for a probable return visit of participants to the UK. It is also likely that a proposal will be developed to create a platform for action research that will bring together activists to build grassroots alliances across race, class and space and develop new and progressive narratives on managing change. Moreover, a strong shared commitment to continuing the transatlantic conversation was established.