St. Bonaventure University will host a documentary screening and discussion that examine the legacy of St. Louis public housing project Pruitt-Igoe.
The program will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Loft of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on campus and featuring a screening of Chad Freidrichs’ documentary, “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History” (2011), and a lecture by guest speaker Dr. Henry Louis Taylor Jr. of the University at Buffalo.
The program will be hosted by Chris Brown, director of the First-Year Experience program, and Dr. Rachel Ann Walsh, visiting assistant professor in the Department of English and co-sponsored by the university’s #RaceMatters program and English department. The public is invited.
Freidrichs’ documentary explores the legacy of Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, Missouri. Built after the passage of the 1949 Public Housing Act, Pruitt-Igoe became emblematic of the ways in which racial discourses determined the socioeconomic policies and practices that simultaneously devastated urban residential neighborhoods and drove the post-war white flight to the suburbs. “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” is both a history of public housing in St. Louis and a history of how institutional racism shaped and continues to inform our urban and suburban environments.
Taylor is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the founding director of the Center for Urban Studies at the University at Buffalo. His scholarship examines the disenfranchisement of black and Latino subjects within urban neighborhoods. Taylor also coordinates the Center for Urban Studies’ Urban Internship Program, which creates opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to become involved in neighborhood redevelopment initiatives and in research projects.
Learn more about the documentary at www.pruitt-igoe.com.
The April 12 program is part of the university’s RaceMatters initiative, a campus dialogue on race and ethnicity that has featured lectures, movies and discussions designed to drive positive communication about race issues. Those who participate in the events are encouraged to use the hashtag #RaceMatters on social media to share their thoughts. For a list of RaceMatters programs, visit www.sbu.edu/RaceMatters.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
St. Bonaventure has chosen the nonfiction book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson as its common read for 2015-2016. This All Bonaventure Reads selection explores the inequity embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system.
“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” was released in October and focuses mainly on the work of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a legal practice Stevenson founded as a young lawyer that is dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need.
One of Stevenson’s first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. It transformed the lawyer’s understanding of mercy and justice forever and illustrates numerous ongoing challenges in work advocating for social justice.
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7 p.m. | Monday, Oct. 26
Address by: Anthony Ray Hinton (above, right), an exonerated death row inmate, and Charlotte Morrison, senior attorney with the Equal Justice Initiative
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