Watch My Brooklyn on February 17 and 18

Thursday, February 4, 2016

"What sort of a place was the city becoming, and who was it for?" Director Kelly Anderson poses these questions in her documentary My Brooklyn: Demystifying Gentrification. The film tracks her life in the New York City borough from her move in 1988 to her involvement in the controversial plan to rezone downtown and reshape Fulton Mall, a highly successful shopping area with a deep cultural history for its predominantly African American, Caribbean, and working-class patrons. Mall regulars viewed the location as an important community space for social engagement, while outsiders saw it as a rundown site that could use improvement. Anderson's documentary investigates the racial and class divisions of the Fulton Mall gentrification project and explores urban planning processes, the power structures at work, and the roles that citizens can play in creating more equitable developments.

Free screenings of the film will be held on February 17 and 18. The February 17 showing at 6:00 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library will be followed by a community panel discussion of recent development trends in Champaign-Urbana. On February 18, Anderson will be available for a question-and-answer session after the showing at 7:30 p.m. in Plym Auditorium in Temple Hoyne Buell Hall. For more information about the documentary, head to the official website or download the free study guide.

The screenings are sponsored by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Study, the 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign, the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, Champaign County Habitat for Humanity, Champaign County Health Care Consumers, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, Champaign Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice, the Channing Murray Foundation, the City of Urbana, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the College of Education, the College of Law Community Preservation Clinic, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of History, the Department of Latina/Latino Studies, the Department of Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Planners Network, the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, the Student Planning Organization, and the School of Art and Design.