The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University will host the Invisible Houston Revisited Three Decades Later Policy Summit at Texas Southern University on November 7, 2013. The Summit is a follow up to Invisible Houston: The Black Experience in Boom and Bust (Texas A&M University Press, 1987), a groundbreaking book written by Robert D. Bullard. Invisible Houston chronicled the rise of Black Houston from Freedmen’s Town and tracked the expansion of the city’s mostly African American neighborhoods in the 1950s, 1960s and during the boom era of the 1970s and the dwindling economy and diminished government commitment to affirmative action in the 1980s.
The one–day Invisible Houston Revisited Summit is an interdisciplinary forum of scholars, researchers, practitioners, planners, educators, policy analysts, health professionals, and others who share an interest in developing multidisciplinary policy solutions to the many challenges facing Houston—the fourth largest city in the nation.
The theme of the Invisible Houston Revisited Summit focuses on coming to grips with how inequality, in all its multi-dimensional complexity, is produced in contemporary Houston. Using an equity lens, the Summit seeks to shed light on a number of questions: Is there an “Invisible Houston” today? What is the state of inequality (racial/ethnic, economic, environmental, health, housing, political, etc.) in Houston? To what extent has Houston closed the racial/ethnic divide and well-being gap over the past three decades? How has access to opportunity trended during Houston’s boom and bust cycles? Now that Houston has regained its “boom-town” status, the question remains, how is this new prosperity distributed? How are benefits and costs distributed as Houston embarks on becoming a “greener,” more livable and sustainable city? What bold policy changes are needed to address current and emerging challenges facing Houston’s racially/ethnically diverse population? In addition to asking questions, the Summit participants are charged with exploring strategies and solutions going forward.
- Environmental justice (air quality, water quality, solid waste, brownfields, chemical safety, facility siting), sustainability, community resilience and climate justice
- Transportation equity, access to jobs, spatial mismatch, job sprawl, mobility (regional transportation, public transit, METRO)
- Race and class inequality, economic development, wealth creation, minority businesses, underemployment, livable wage, poverty, green economy, green jobs
- Housing (affordable housing, public housing, home foreclosures, predatory lending, redlining, displacement, gentrification, residential segregation)
- Health and healthcare (health disparities, access to health care)
- Food security, food justice, food deserts, food swamps, community gardens, urban agriculture, and access to healthy foods