After a light breakfast provided by UNHP, the IPED students met a Bronx development panel with Elizabeth Strojan, an IPED alumna from Enterprise, Jumelia Abrahamson from University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), John Reilly from Fordham Bedford Housing Corporations (FBHC), John Garcia from Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS), and a representative from Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). Starting with a brief history of housing in the Bronx from the 1960s to present, the panel discussed the work that their respective organizations do in the Bronx and the greater New York City area, including testimonials for why they work in their chosen profession and the progress they have seen through their involvement in the community.
After the panel discussion, Gregory Jost from Designing the WE treated the students to a history lesson on how the Bronx became what we see and know today. From humble beginnings, to grandiose development, to its modern depiction, his presentation discussing the “Undesign the Redline” framework showed how the most affluent neighborhood in the East was transformed into a bastion of poverty and violence by exploring structural racism and classism and their repercussions in today’s Bronx.
The day ended with a late bagged lunch in Poe Park, just behind Edgar Allen Poe’s home, where the discussion with Mr. Jost continued.