Geography

Geography 50AC - 'California'
Instructor: Seth Lunine
Semester: Fall 2016

During the Fall of 2016, students with the UC Berkeley ACES program worked with artist and anti-displacement organizer, Leslie Dreyer, in conjunction with the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition (SFADC) and the Coalition on Homelessness. Throughout the residency, they learned the policies and politics driving Bay Area displacement, how to use art, social media and community organizing to resist displacement and were connected to homeless and housing advocacy groups on the frontlines of the housing justice struggle.

For their final project, they helped build, stage and document a pre-election anti-displacement action designed by Dreyer with SFADC and COH and built this website to educate students about the negative impacts of gentrification and eviction. Though this site is more an information hub than a student group, there is hope that this collaboration may catalyze a longer, deeper relationship between UC Students and the broader Bay Area housing movement.

 


Geography 70AC, “The Urban Experience: Race, Class, and the American City”
Instructor: Seth Lunine
Semester: Spring 2017

The ACES project for Dr. Seth Lunine’s Geography 70AC, “The Urban Experience: Race, Class, and the American City” enabled five students to explore and encounter key course topics, including gentrification, racialized displacement, and community organizing. ACES students partnered with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), a nonprofit agency providing affordable housing, social work, education, and community organizing. A series of meetings facilitated by TNDC community planner Ramon Quintero brought together ACES students and Tenderloin residents, activists, and representatives of nonprofit organizations. Ongoing conversations about both existing programs and unmet community needs guided students’ research of nonprofit organizations, city services, and accessible public spaces in the Tenderloin.








Course: Geography X50AC, “California” 
Instructor: Seth Lunine
Chancellor’s Public Fellow: Alec Stewart
Semester: Fall 2017

Students in Dr. Seth Lunine’s Geography X50AC, “California” continued an ACES partnership with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), a nonprofit agency providing affordable housing, social work, education, and community organizing in San Francisco.  Throughout a series of meetings, TNDC community planner Ramon Quintero paired ACES students with Tenderloin residents, including members of TNDC’s Leadership Academy, in order to examine the City of San Francisco’s Civic Center redevelopment plan, its potential impacts on the Tenderloin, and strategies for community intervention.  A meeting with City of San Francisco urban planners provided further insights into not only city planning processes but also the thorny politics of public/private partnerships.  Community members then identified several core concerns about the redevelopment plan, which the students incorporated into posters.  Guided by Architecture Ph.D. candidate and Chancellor’s Public Fellow Alec Stewart, the students used design exercises, Adobe software, and Slack to render several posters in English, Mandarin, and Spanish.  These posters will prove instrumental in developing a coalition of residents, activists, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting and enhancing the Tenderloin community over the next two years.  The project also deepened ACES students’ understanding of several key course topics, including social justice, public space, and the cruelly widening wealth gap in San Francisco.  Through their experience of community organizing and activism, ACES students learned firsthand that gentrification is neither inevitable nor inexorable.