On Saturday, February 24th, the Central Library launched the new CvilleStrong discussion series. Violent events during the summer of 2017 made visible ongoing inequities in the Charlottesville community. By creating a safe space for conversation, JMRL intends to foster connections among neighbors.
This opening discussion centered around affordable housing in Charlottesville, within the context of the destruction of Vinegar Hill during urban renewal in the 1960s. The displacement of residents of this vibrant, largely African-American neighborhood immediately created a need for affordable housing. The current housing market is directly influenced by the policies enacted almost 60 years ago. First, CvilleStrong participants watched a short documentary about Vinegar Hill, That World Is Gone. Next, those in the room spoke with panelists including former residents of Vinegar Hill, a representative from the Public Housing Association of Residents, as well as representatives from three organizations that focus on issues related to affordable housing: Legal Aid Justice Center, The Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition, and Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. The lived experiences and professional expertise shared by all led to a very well-informed and deeply personal discussion.
CvilleStrong will return a few times a year. Details on upcoming topics will be posted on jmrl.org and JMRL’s social media accounts.
- The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
- Evicted by Matthew Desmond
- From Porch Swings to Patios prepared by Charlottesville Department of Community Development
- Jefferson School Oral History Project
- The South Side by Natalie Moore
- Sundown Towns by James Loewen
- Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia by James Robert Saunders
- Vinegar Hill, 1963 by Gundars Osvalds