As mentioned, this blog revives the original Redstar Perspective, my personal blog that ran from April 2006 – March 2008. One reason I moved to this new URL is that I’m currently locked out of my old one due to technical difficulties I don’t understand.
But hopefully this new blog is also fresh and different; some categories have been dropped and the blogroll has been substantially revised.
That said, there’s some key archives at the old site that I’d hate for new readers to miss – here’s a quick guide:
- Post-Katrina New Orleans Coverage: The major reason I began blogging was because my friends were tiring of the on-going group e-mails detailing my experiences as a recovery consultant in NOLA. The blog allowed me to continue to write about my intense work without clogging up in-boxes the world over. This was my first post about New Orleans (a re-printed e-mail), in which I compared setting up shop in NOLA to living and working in Tanzania in terms of the culture shock and complex navigation of an insecure environment. Here is an extended post I wrote at the first anniversary of Katrina, clarifying my responses to an interview that had run at MIT and landed me in hot water with local, direct action public housing activists. It’s a window into why I do the work I do and why I was so (emotionally) involved with New Orleans recovery efforts. This one is from the second anniversary of the flood, and talks about the inspiring youth and mid-career activism in the Gulf and the tremendous cross-cultural collaboration underway to rebuild the city. One month later, I wrote about the policy fight to bring affordable housing back to the Gulf Coast. Two months later, I wrote an angry, mournful and personal post about HUD’s “victory” in demolishing over 4,000 units of much-needed public housing in New Orleans. (I covered this battle throughout my writing on NOLA.) My writing on New Orleans – like my work – dropped off in 2008. Here’s some neighborhood-by-neighborhood impressions from a trip in March, and a more polemical piece using NOLA as an example of our nation’s unwillingness to provide affordable housing for the neediest among us. My final RP post on NOLA came in late June, when I posted links to my partner’s photo essay about the city. Overall, this is the richest material at The RP, and its original raison d’etre. Check it out.
- Planning, development, affordable housing, race/ethnicity, and poverty: These multiple categories highlight the major thread in my writing – the challenges of equitable urban development and housing policy that effectively address (and redress) racial/ethnic and economic inequity. Given my parents grew up in Boston public housing, and some of my relatives continue to live there today, this topic is often deeply personal for me, which shows through in many of my posts. This is likely to be the major theme of the “new” RP, as I continue to move away from the specificities of working in New Orleans.
- Gender and Women’s Lives: I tended to write about gender much more personally and anecdotally than other topics at the old RP, a trend I don’t see changing. I have conducted a lot of research on gender inequality in organizations and occupations, which I often referenced. Nonetheless, my favorite insight was that which came from the challenges of living my own independent life. And not a few posts were inspired by Grey’s Anatomy!