November 19, 2009

Whose Barrio? You Tell Me.

Last night, we co-hosted with Credit Suisse a screening of the 2009 NYILFF documentary, "Whose Barrio?" (dir. Ed Morales, Laura Rivera), followed by a panel, including the directors, Dr. Arlene Davila (NYU professor and author of "Barrio Dreams, Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City"), Nuyorican poet and playwright Jesus Papoleto Melenedez and NYC Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8). The moderator was the Ford Foundation's Dr. Hector Cordero-Guzman.

In short, "Whose Barrio?" is an emotionally charged look at the changes in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem as real estate speculation pushes rents and property values past the point of affordability for most area residents.

The subject is obviously a charged one and the panel's Q&A session proved to be quite spirited, as audience members passionately participated in the dialogue about the challenges, benefits and overall ramifications of gentrification. Although there is no simple answer, one thing is certain: you must feel empowered to use your voice on issues that are important to you. There is truth to the adage, 'one person can make a difference'... that person could be you.

Thanks so much to all who attended. I hope you enjoyed the evening and left feeling inspired to make a difference in your 'barrio'.

Soooo many thanks to Credit Suisse's Anthony, Hanna, Todd and Darilyn for your partnership, and also many thanks to NSHMBA and Moet Hennessy for helping to make our event such a success!


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