Join Word Up for a conversation between Mindy Thompson Fullilove—author of Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It (New Village Press)—and Maria Lizardo, on the effects of displacement on communities.
Like a sequel to the prescient warnings of urbanist Jane Jacobs, Root Shock reveals the disturbing effects of decades of insensitive urban renewal projects on communities of color. Fullilove passionately describes the profound traumatic stress—the “root shock”—that results when a neighborhood is demolished, and she demonstrates that urban renewal didn’t just disrupt black communities: it ruined their economic health and social cohesion, stripping displaced residents of their sense of place as well. Dr. Fullilove insists that understanding the damage caused by root shock is crucial to coping with its human toll and helping cities become whole.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is a professor of urban policy and health at The New School, having moved there in 2016 after 26 years at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. Her research examines the mental health effects of environmental processes such as violence, segregation, and urban renewal. In 2004, she worked with colleagues in Upper Manhattan to start the CLIMB project, which has advocated for reinvestment in the area’s cliffside parks. This has spurred millions in new investment, including a 2016 $30 million investment to update Highbridge Park.
Maria Lizardo, LMSW, is the executive director of Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC). Maria Lizardo is a proud, first generation Dominican, whose parents migrated to the United States in 1965 from Moca, Dominican Republic. Raised in Washington Heights, she has worked at NMIC since 1998 and in 2014, was appointed executive director. Maria is one of the cofounders of the Washington Heights and Inwood Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence. She is a member of the steering committee that organizes the Brides’ March that takes place every September 26th commemorating the anniversary of Gladys Ricart’s death at the hands of her abusive ex-boyfriend. Maria is also a member of several community advisory committees, including the Northern Manhattan Agenda’s Housing Committee, and serves on the boards of the Human Services Council, the National Association of Social Workers/NYC Chapter, and United Neighborhood Houses.
The conversation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Books will be available for sale.
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