2020 Gentrification Conference Postponed Until September 19, 2020

540WMain and City Roots Community Land Trust present’s

2020 Gentrification Conference 

Resisting Gentrification: Then and Now”

2020 Conference postponed until Saturday September 19, 2020

Due to a recent update in University of Rochester policy that limits on campus events to no more than 25 people, the 2020 Gentrification Conference presented by 540WMain and City Roots Community Land Trust has been postponed from April 4, 2020 to Saturday September 19, 2020 at Barber J. Burger iZone at University of Rochester Libraries.  The conference steering committee has made this decision in order to make the conference impactful and safe for all involved while also taking in to account logistical requirements. Community members who have purchased tickets will see their ticket transferred to the new date.

Anyone needing a refund can request their refund by emailing info540westmain@gmail.com

One more thing:

It is important to remember that COVID-19 is not connected to race, ethnicity, or nationality. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to combat misinformation. Find reliable and up-to-date information about the outbreak from the following vetted sources:

Monroe County Department of Public Health
Center for Disease Control
World Heath Organization

Follow best practices as you hold space for yourself and others in the community: 

  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover any cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Maintain a vicinity of personal space, avoiding unnecessary physical contact with others
  • Remain home if you are sick or have had recent contact with those who show symptoms of illness

2020 Theme

Themed “‘Resisting Gentrification: Then and Now’. Our 4th annual conference will bring together housing activists from past and present to educate, energize, and mobilize the housing justice movement in Rochester. The morning will include a plenary panel and the afternoon will feature a number of breakout sessions led by local organizers, activists and educators.

Submit a proposal to facilitate an afternoon breakout session:
Interested in volunteering for all or part of the conference
  • Parking in free in Library Lot
    The Barbara J. Burger Izone in located in Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester’s River Campus. This space is ADA accessible and ASL interpreting will be provided.
  • more details to come
  • Tickets can be purchased online ($10)
  • Open to all // no one turned away for lack of funds
    buy tickets button

Everything You Need to Know About … | Spring Gentrification Conference Sponsors

We are pleased to announce the official sponsors for the

540WMain Spring 19 Gentrification Conference

We are thankful to our sponsors for supporting the Spring 2019 conference as well as the respective missions of 540WMain Communiversity and City Roots Community Land Trust

Monroe Community College | Presenting Sponsor

Thank you to our presenting sponsor The Anthropology/History/Political Science/Sociology Department at Monroe Community College

Learn more about MCC at http://www.monroecc.edu

Pathstone | Community Champion

PathStone is a visionary, diverse organization empowering individuals, families and communities to attain economic and social resources for building better lives. PathStone builds family and individual self-sufficiency by strengthening farmworker, rural and urban communities. PathStone promotes social justice through programs and advocacy.

Learn more about Pathstone www.pathstone.org

Community Preservation Corporation | Community Champion

As a leading nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company, CPC utilizes deep, strategic relationships with government agencies, local community groups, banks, and other lenders to create customized loan opportunities for customers.

Learn more about CPC at http://www.communityp.com/

Venture Jobs Foundation | Community Champion Sponsor

The Venture Jobs Foundation (VJF) invests in entrepreneurs to help them pursue their dreams, expanding small business ownership in challenged neighborhoods. The launch and growth of these locally owned enterprises fosters the creation of new, low and mid-skill jobs, stepping stones to building prosperity and dignity in underserved populations. All investing programs support this core mission.

Learn more about the Venture Jobs Foundation www.venturejobs.org

Homeleasing | Community Champion

Based in Rochester, New York, Home Leasing is a private, family-owned company operating in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Our services include development, construction and property management—but we do much more than that. Every aspect of their business is driven by a mission to improve the lives of residents and the communities in which they work

Learn more about Home Leasing www.homeleasing.net

Connected Communities | Community Partner

Connected Communities is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization formed to assist with the practical application of anti-poverty initiatives in two of Rochester, NY’s struggling neighborhoods. Connected Communities’ role is to serve as an advocate, convener, connector, coordinator, resource navigator, and as an arm of a larger Collective Impact team serving the Rochester community. The effort’s overall goal is to build a strong, vibrant community where every person and family has the opportunity to live in a stable area with the service and support needed to overcome poverty and create a successful future.

Learn more about Connected Communities www.connectedcommunities.org

RocGrowth | Community Partner 

RocGrowth was born from a strategic plan developed by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation working group, the Business Accelerator Cooperative seeks to increase collaboration among all local entrepreneurial support organizations, and make it easier for local startups to find the right resources to help them grow their companies.

Learn more about RocGrowth at https://rocgrowth.com/

Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union | Community Partner

Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union provides a broad range of affordable, quality services to increase the financial skills and wealth of our member-owners. We are responsive to the needs of our community. We are committed to social inclusiveness. We are dedicated to responsible community development and education.

Learn more about Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union https://www.genesee.coop/

Foodlink | Community Partner

Foodlink believes that the fight against hunger and the fight against poverty are one and the same. The organization envisions a future in which food is recognized as a human right and every person is able to feed themselves and their families in dignity.

Learn more about Foodlink http://foodlinkny.org/

Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition |

Community Partner

Learn more about Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition http://www.beechwood14609.com/

Rochester People’s Climate Coalition |

Community Partner

The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) is an inclusive, non-partisan network of organizations unified by our determination to identify and implement effective climate solutions.  The diverse membership includes business, faith, civic, labor, and environmental groups.

Learn more about RPCC https://rocpcc.org/

Everything You Need to Know About … | Spring Gentrification Conference Facilitators

We are pleased to release the official roster of facilitators for the Spring 19 Gentrification Conference

This Saturday’s conference is our first conference featuring afternoon breakout sessions/ workshops facilitated by various community leaders and organizations that are putting in real work to support development without displacement. Upon registration in the morning, community members will have the opportunity to choose two sessions that peak their interest. Details about the facilitators and their workshops are below.*

*no particular order

Topic: Relationship Between Policing & Gentrification: A University of Rochester Case Study (1:30pm-2:25pm) (2:30pm-3:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Ted Forsyth, Pastor Wanda Wilson, Dorian Hall, Unversity of Rochester Students
Organization: Police Accountability Board
Summary of Session : The University of Rochester is proposing to arm members of their Department of Public Safety and allow them to patrol across the river. This panel will connect the arming of DPS officers and gentrification in the PLEX neighborhood and share and help interpret the results of the City of Rochester’s Comprehensive Plan. They will focus on what the report reveals about housing and gentrification in Rochester.

Topic:  The Rochester Housing Market Study (2:30pm-3:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Mitch Gruber, Elizabeth Murphy
Organization: City of Rochester
Summary of Session : City Councilperson Mitch Gruber and Elizabeth Murphy from the Office of Planning will share highlights of the recently completed analysis of the citywide housing market. This information is being used to inform the soon-to-be- released Comprehensive Plan and will be useful to inform community conversations around housing and community development strategies.

Topic: Connection Between Gentrification & Eviction (1:30pm-2:25pm) (2:30pm-3:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Mary Lupien, Liz McGrif and Others
Organization: City Wide Tenants Union
Summary of Session: The City Wide Tenants Union of Rochester will lead a panel discussion on the intersection of eviction, tenants rights, and gentrification. They will share on their state and local level policy proposals for creating a more just housing system.

Topic: Bringing High Tech Companies to Rochester: A Threat or A Gift
Facilitator(s):  Richard Glaser & Ana Liss (1:30pm-2:25pm)
Organization: RocGrowth
Summary of Session: Richard Glazer and Ana Liss will lead an informal discussion about the benefits of high tech and why the community and city officials should use the tech industry to support job development and real estate development in the City of Rochester.

Topic: How the Community Land Trust is Changing the Affordable Housing Landscape in Rochester (1:30pm-2:25pm) (2:30pm-3:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Joe DiFiore, Matt DeLaus and Others
Organization: City Roots Community Land Trust
Summary of Session: This discussion will be led by members of the City Roots Community Land Trust. Attendees will learn about the important work the last trust is doing as well as how they can get involved in promoting development without displacement in Rochester.

Topic: The Relationship Between White Fragility & Activism (2:30pm-3:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Calvin Eaton , Shane Weigand
Organization: 540WMain
Summary of Session: This workshop will discuss the concepts of white fragility, white privilege and their intersections between white allies and those supporting POC activists. How do white people support without usurping movements intentionally or unintentionally? How can white people do activism work without centering themselves?

Topic: Gentrification & Community Schools (1:30pm-2:25pm)
Facilitator(s):  Janielle Crocker
Organization: Connected Communities
Summary of Session: Janielle Crocker from Connected Communities will explore the relationship between community schools and gentrification. The interactive presentation will include case studies from other areas in NYS that are implementing the public school model as well as how Connected Communities is helping implement community schools in the Beechwood Neighborhood.

Author Spotlight: p.e moscowitz | Spring 19 Gentrification Conference

We are pleased to host author p.e. moscowitz at the Spring Gentrification Conference

Saturday March 30  | 10pm-4pm | $10

About p.e moscowitz

p.e moscowitz is a queer journalist, writer and public speaker. They currently live in New Orleans and was born and raised in NYC. p.e has written for places like The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation and VICE, WIRED, OUT Magazine and others. They werote the book about gentrification called How to Kill a City, which was published by Nation Books/Perseus/Hachette and reviewed positively in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic and elsewhere. Their next book, is titled The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent

We are so excited to have you coming to Rochester and speaking at our Spring gentrification conference. Where did you grow up? and where do you live now?
p.e. I grew up in New York City’s West Village (before it was completely gentrified). I now live in New Orleans.

Did you go to college? If so where and what did you study?
p.e. Yes, I went to Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts, and studied photo, but got an internship at a local NPR station, which is where I fell in love with journalism.

How do you define gentrification?
p.e. Gentrification, to me, is about turning cities into profit machines — taking away or destroying aspects of cities that support communities, and selling them to the highest bidder.

How has your background and upbringing affected how you view the United States and its development throughout modern history?
p.e. I grew up in a relatively diverse community, and it really felt like a community. And then I watched the West Village, and really all of New York, become this gilded place for the rich before my eyes. I saw everything that made New York great — its communities, its small shops, the fact that artists and activists and working class people could afford to live there — be pushed away. It made me incredibly sad and angry, and so I decided that I needed to learn as much possible about that process.

What do you say to people who feel that gentrification is a myth or not a real concept or problem in urban communities and cities?
p.e. Ask all the people around them who have had to leave their neighborhoods, or who are struggling to afford rent, or who are working 60 hours a week to survive because their rent eats half their paycheck. You don’t need to read any studies to see that rent and housing expenses are hurting nearly everyone. And look around you! Neighborhoods are changing. Whether you think these changes are good or bad usually depends on whether you can afford them: no one is against new parks, or new public transit, but when those developments increase housing costs, only certain people can remain in neighborhoods.

Where did you get the inspiration to write How To Kill A City?
p.e. See question 4! But also, I was really sick of the mainstream coverage of gentrification, which presented it as if it was some mysterious process about mustachioed hipsters, as opposed to one that can be defined, and fought. So I decided to define, and fight it!

What has the overall consensus been about your book? Do you get people who publicly disagree with you?
p.e. It’s very rare that I meet people these days who don’t think gentrification is a problem — I think you have to be pretty willfully blind to not see the suffering going on in gentrifying neighborhoods. Most of the disagreement I get is from people who think that the free market is the best method to solve the problem – i.e. just build as much housing as possible and everything will resolve itself. I deeply disagree with this prognosis, as virtually every other developed nation on earth has much stricter housing regulation (and in general cheaper rents and more affordable costs of living).

Have you traveled to a city that you feel does urban design right? If so, what city? 

p.e. Short answer, no. Virtually every city on earth has to a certain extent bought into this neoliberal philosophy (which I would argue is a fantasy) that they must compete with each other and run themselves like businesses. Even New York and San Francisco, which are supposedly progressive, give away billions in tax breaks to corporations, while under-funding their public housing, transit, etc. Berlin has the most interesting and comprehensive anti-displacement policies: moratoriums on development, along with rent control, and they’re also considering making corporate landlords completely illegal!

How do you stay healthy both mentally and physically?
p.e. I try not to get angry on the internet as much as possible! Waste of energy. And I exercise and try to eat relatively well. I think it’s pretty hard to stay healthy mentally in this world – we live in depressing times. But community and friends really help.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career?
p.e. To be honest, self-doubt. I have so much I want to say, and a way to say it, but often am not sure people will want to hear me out. I’ve been delighted to learn that a lot of people do want to hear me out!

What has been the best experience of your career thus far?
p.e. I love speaking to small community groups — it’s really rewarding to see where the rubber meets the road or whatever. I wrote this book to help change things, and so to see people using it to change their local communities makes me really happy.

Is this your first time visiting Rochester or upstate NY?
p.e. I’ve only been to Rochester a few times, but I have lots of family from upstate New York and spent lots of my childhood around upstate, so it kind of feels like a second home to me in a lot of ways.

What should the audience expect from your Keynote address? What is the key point they should leave with?

p.e. That I don’t beat around the bush. I will lay the blame for gentrification at the feet of those who cause it: corporations and politicians. I hope people leave with a better sense of what gentrification is — not a mysterious process but a purposeful pursuit of money by turning communities into profit centers.

Why should the Rochester community come out to your keynote address? \
p.e. I’m not exaggerating when I say every city is at risk of massive displacement and gentrification over the next few decades. Rochester has already seen a lot of that. The good thing is, it’s not too late, like it is in many parts of New York City, to change things. Hopefully through a community dialogue we can figure out what Rochester needs to do.

What is it that inspires you to keep going as an author and public speaker?
p.e. Changing people’s minds! But also, I write to process my understanding of the world. It is my coping mechanism for confusing times.

What are you working on now?
p.e. A book about the concept of free speech, and how that relates to race, gender and capitalism.

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?

p.e. Hmmm not really! I love dogs. Lol.

 list any contact info you’d like to include (blog, twitter, email, FB, etc): people can email me at p.e.moskowitz@gmail.com

The Connection Between Gentrification and Evictions | Afternoon Breakout Session

Dear Community,

We are excited to announce the City Wide Tenants Union of Rochester which includes Mary Lupien, Liz McGrif and others as facilitators for the Spring 19
Gentrification conference afternoon breakout sessions. Their workshop is titled:

The Connection Between Gentrification and Evictions

Be sure to pre-register now // tickets just $10 and includes all day learning, refreshments and noon lunch.

preregister button