Undergraduate Research Blogpost 1

I will be working on two research projects this year. The first being a project with Dr. Roger Salerno on the history of gentrification in New York City and its effects on people of color and the second being with Dr. Jessica Lavariega-Monforti in which we are attempting to publish a book called “Voces” filled with personal essays and interviews of Latinxs describing their political socialization and views on/experiences with immigration.

Gentrification is a serious issue that has become ever present in the outer-boroughs of New York City, especially within the last 20 years. Rather than invest in and help grow communities of color already living in New York, corporate interest and the government seem to be more concerned in pricing people out and attracting wealthy transplants into neighborhoods that have historically been low income and of color. Our hopes with our research is to create data on this phenomenon from a racial perspective because in almost every study of gentrification, race is conspicuously absent and we want to document their stories so that other people can hear them for years to come.

Latinxs are the fastest growing population in the United States, and yet we are one of the most understudied and underrepresented populations. Our goal is to take all of these stories and oral histories and create a book to shed light on the experiences of Latinxs both foreign and U.S. born and our experiences with immigration/our families. The book will also examine how that has contributed to our political views and political socialization. We hope to create dialogue about the issues Latinxs in this country face and as the name of the book suggests, give voices to the population that is projected to be 60 million by 2020.

For our study on gentrification, Dr. Salerno and I will be focusing on the borough of Brooklyn with a concentration on Bushwick. We will be examining maps, census data, demographic shifts of public schools, and conducting interviews with natives of Bushwick and those who have been forced to relocate because of gentrification. We will also be conducting a literature review of previous studies of gentrification and researching the ways in which city planners and corporate entities initiate these changes within neighborhoods.

Dr. Lavariega and I will be reviewing the pieces we already have and adding a few new pieces to reflect the current climate around immigration. We will then beg into categorize them to match similar themes. We will also be writing segues between chapters and providing additional information for readers to get a full understanding of the stories.


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