Crenshaw Project Stresses Community Voice
Urban Planning chair Chris Tilly and three graduate students appeared on the radio program “Everything Co-Op” to share their experiences working with residents of Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District on a community development strategy. As part of the UCLA Urban Planning Community Collaborative, the master’s students partnered with Crenshaw residents to research and report on their top priorities. “Their No. 1 concern was increasing community control and Black self-determination, Black sovereignty, over a predominantly Black community,” Tilly said. In a conversation that touched on gentrification, environmental equity, food and housing insecurity, and the creation of high-quality jobs, Tilly and students Eliza Jane Franklin, Geoff Gusoff and Ernest Johnson stressed the importance of letting community members lead. During the collaboration, the students learned about cooperatives, affordable housing, community land trusts and other resources, Tilly said, but “the most important thing that students should be learning in this kind of project is how to work with people in the community.”
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