According to the Center for Disease Control, gentrification and serial forced displacement are powerful, destabilizing forces for communities of color and low-income communities, resulting in individual and public health impacts exacerbated by trauma, loss and “root shock.”
Radix Consulting Group LLC’s Right 2 Root® is an approach led by and designed for African American’s affected by displacement and gentrification in Portland, Oregon. In partnership with planners, architects and other organizations, Right 2 Root®, led by its founder Cat Goughnour, works with vulnerable communities to help them become designers of their own lives, communities, families and futures to overcome disparities and inequities of gentrification and discrimination.
In 2015, ZGF partnered with Radix for a visioning study on how communities can enable systemic changes and create resilience. Using EcoDistrict guidelines, our work focused on how land in North and Northeast Portland could be redeveloped to mitigate gentrification and displacement in the African American community and build health and wealth. In focus groups and multiple community workshops, we employed urban planning and community engagement processes to ensure openness, honesty, integrity, and transparency. Through this community-led process, we worked with community members who were experiencing dramatic changes to develop strategies for purposeful action on their own behalf. Adhering to Right 2 Root® principles, we used urban design tools to address change and identify strengths, challenges, and innovations for meaningful reinvestment.
Through Radix’s approach, ZGF came to understand how communities build capacity to manifest systemic changes, create resilience, and design their own solutions to gentrification and serial poverty. This approach, designed to be implementable in other urban locations, was documented in a report supported by ZGF and published by the Institute for Policy Studies, “Right to Root: A Community-Centered System for Equitable Development in N/Ne Portland.”
Click here to read the full report and learn more.