Penn Sociology Colloquium Series: Akira Drake Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania
A Legacy of Care: Tenant Organizing for Housing Infrastructure in 20th and 21st Century Atlanta
The City of Atlanta was the first US city to have federally-financed subsidized housing (with the opening of Techwood Homes in 1936) and the first major city in the US to demolish most of it in the mid-2010s. Throughout this history, tenant organizations in these public housing developments created a wealth of political capacity - originating, fostering, and shaping urban social movements. These urban social movements were critical to articulating the interests, demands, and strategies of Black working-class and working-poor women, in a city that has a history of marginalizing these interests at the expense of elite Black priorities. This talk examines the history of public housing organizing across three public housing developments, the struggles to resist public housing demolition and removal, and the current struggles around affordable housing in a post-public housing city.