Thursday, October 30, 2014

Update #2

Last week and this week I have been trying to get in contact of the Rosales family but Mrs. Rosales has still been ill as well as having doctors appointments. Mr. Rosales has not contacted me back. Today (10/30), Vanessa and I visited the Robert Weaver community in hopes of being able to get at least 2  more interviews (Rosales family & Travis) but still no luck. We did however, get more footage to finalize scenes and images for our documentary. I am extremely excited to finally begin our craft!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Project Update #1

On Monday 10/20, we were able to interview Mrs. Ross, Mr. Owens, and Mrs. Renteria. We were unable to interview Mrs. Rosales because she hasn't been feeling well, however Mr. Rosales was kind enough to let us reschedule, so I will be contacting them this week in hopes that Mrs. Rosales feels better. We really wanted to interview Travis in order to gain a different perspective from the renters of Robert Weaver but they did not answer. I hope that when I meet Mrs. Rosales, Travis will be available.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 4

After reviewing the material about gentrification listed in Blackboard-Course Documents, discuss an example of gentrification in your own home town, or another city or state in US or in another country.  How is gentrification affecting cities around the world?  Is Austin's gentrification unique in some ways?  Yes or No, explain.

Gentrification is not only occurring in Austin, but it is occurring all over the country where majority of inner-city neighborhoods exist. An example of this is right in the city where I was born and raised - Houston. Currently, Houston's historical Third Ward is undergoing extreme gentrification. Third Ward alike East Austin, holds much African American history and culture. White plight took place in Third Ward, and African Americans successfully established their own institutions, shops, and businesses collectively and thrived. Today, Third Ward is at the heart of Houston - downtown, highways, and the Port of Houston are catching the attention of Caucasians, which in effect has increased property value. All around the world gentrification is happening except with different groups of course. I personally don't believe east Austin's gentrification is unique compared to other cities around the world. Gentrification has been occurring for the last decade, except now it is catching the attention of many people, an issue that has been ignored for too long. East Austin's gentrification is a wake up call for many scholars, students, and new residents from UT and over the nation, who are unfamiliar or have never been exposed to this phenomena. The first step in making a difference and saving these neighborhoods is AWARENESS.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 3

What was the most surprising information you learned from the two readings on the history of East Austin?  How does the information you read about compare to what others have said or think about East Austin.  

Most of the information in the readings wasn't new information for me because I had studied this in other classes. I believe everyone in Austin, especially the new East Austin Austinites, should read these 2 intriguing articles so they can really know what East Austin is all about. Those who are afraid of East Austin, or believe it's the bad side of town because of the high influx of Latino and African Americans should know that institutionalized racism and the master plan in 1928 are some of the causes of all these economic, social, and political disparities. What I did not know before was what kind of homes or businesses used to encompass this area. After learning that East Austin used to have a lot of hometown heroes and services for the community when it was first established was enlightening for me and made me appreciate this side of town more than I already did. The collectiveness of the community was truly beautiful in the early 1900's and I believe with the right tools, resources, and determination, East Austin can still save their rich culture and history from the extreme gentrification it is facing. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 2

What are some of the similarities and differences in experiences of racism globally? In general, describe the “exploiter and exploited” relationship.  Discuss specific parallels between U.S., France, Brazil and South Africa. 

I believe some of the similarities of racism on a global spectrum would definitely have to be the rise of capitalism and colonialism. These two concepts are the majority of the reason as to why so many racial groups have been deprived and stripped of their human rights, suffering from slavery, discrimination, racism, and more just to name a few. Historically, the U.S. and France share some commonalities since colonialism stemmed from Europe. All four of these countries have experienced the effects of the Eugenics movement. In Brazil however, the Afro-Brazilians still are ostracized and face extreme oppression. 

How has racism influenced the history of housing and urban development in the United States?

Racism and classism go hand in hand. You cannot talk about one subject without talking about the other. With that being said, institutionalized racism is hurting this nation and in effect has caused gentrification. Austin is one of the country's most segregated cities and it's due to gentrification. Austin is making it impossible for African American and Latinos to reside in this city. Do you think this is a coincidence that we no longer can afford housing? That property taxes and prices have tripled since 2007? No. This is all because of institutionalized racism. 

Tatum’s article discusses three barriers to talking about issues of race and racism with students in a classroom setting.  What are these?

Individual's concept of identity, dominant group is not conscious about their authorities and privileges, and many people are both dominant and subordinate.

Finally, following Peggy McIntosh’s format, list a few of your privileges and your overall reaction to this article.

I identify myself as a Latina. Latinos have also been historically oppressed and still continue to be so, regardless of that, I am still blessed to have so many other privileges to be grateful for:
1. Breaking the cycle of poverty that consumes my community in Houston, by pursuing a post-secondary education
2. A God-fearing mother who has taught me the the importance of having strong worth-ethic, education, and to follow my dreams.
3. Although my family is dysfunctional as most are, I am blessed to come from a 2 parent household as most children in my generation do not have this opportunity.
4. I am grateful for my health and the fact that I am physically able to conquer my dreams.
5. I am grateful for attending The University of Texas one of the top universities in the WORLD 
6. I am grateful for having a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach.
7. Last but not least, I am grateful for even having the most basic component of what makes a person American...having a social security number. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week 1

Hello! My name is Denise Perez and I am a senior at UT majoring in psychology and minoring in social work. I was born and raised in Houston, and am a first-generation Mexican-American. Growing up I lived in a low socio-economic neighborhood and my high school was approximately  60% Latino and 40% African-American. We did not have many resources available to us and only a tiny percent of us went off to 4 year institutions. Where I am from, it is hard to break the cycle of poverty and beat the odds held against you. Thanks to my mother who instilled education as my number one priority I was able to be the first in my family to attend a prestigious 4 year university. After taking Dr. Gilbert for a different class last semester, I found my passion which is working with minority youth and communities, especially in education. I want to be able to help with the achievement gap and provide resources for my community back home, non-profit organizations. I want to help the youth with similar backgrounds as myself, inspiring them to attend post-secondary institutions. Part of the reason why my community back home lacks resources is because of modern segregation and institutionalized racism. With all of this in mind, I felt I had to take this course in order to learn more hands-on about the social issues taking place in local communities and what I can do to fix the issue.

When interviewing people about their views or opinions of East Austin, their perceptions bothered me. Most people perceive this part of town as a "dangerous", "crime-stricken," community where most African-American and Latinos reside. What these people don't know however, is that Anglos in 1928 created a city land ordinance to keep African-Americans on the east side and they called this part of town the "Negro District." It seems that not much has changed. People are still associating the east side of Austin as the place where "blacks and Mexicans" reside. I live on riverside and honestly I feel much safer here than West Campus. Here, I don't have to worry about being a victim of hate crimes such as the bleach balloon incidents that happened on West Campus, and I also can walk in my apartment complex and not be worried about being sexually assaulted as many female UT students have experienced this on West Campus. My point is that just because there is a heavy influx of minorities in a certain area, does not mean you are in more danger than in an area with just Anglos. Crime can happen anywhere and anyone regardless of their race, gender, or class is capable of doing crimes. I hope that one day East Austin will not be associated with just negative connotations. East Austin is infused with many different cultures and traditions that I hope never disappear because of the heavy gentrification it is experiencing.