Diversity Scholars Program Presents: Impacts of Creating an Urban University

Do you know what Urban Renewal is?

725 Vermont St.


What about Displacement?


Are you aware of the history of this university?



During Black History month, I will be proudly presenting an exhibit on the first floor of University Library examining the displacement of an African-American community in Indianapolis’ near Westside. My goal is to raise awareness of the people who inhabited the area that contemporary students and faculty often reduce simply to a parking lot. Was it a “slum” neighborhood in need of clearance? Or were there affluent and working class people alike living here? Did the city paint a picture of a neighborhood in need of removal for the benefit of our university? What used to be where you are standing right now?                                                                                                 

As part of this exhibit, I will host guest lecturers including anthropology professor Paul Mullins (who with Glenn White is co-editing a book on elders’ memories of the neighborhood and urban renewal: ), and Dr. Ian McIntosh from the office of international affairs, who has worked on issues of reconciliation and reparations between conflicting groups throughout his career.

Fellow student Patricia Jordan and I will also host a panel discussion on the issues of reparations and privilege. Patricia is an Olaniyan Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Undergraduate Research Scholar, 21st Century Scholar Mentor, and the Vice President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). You may have seen her a few months ago in front of Joseph Taylor Hall Panhandling for Reparations. She is as passionate about this project as I am and I am honored to have her support!

Follow this website and the Diversity Scholar facebook page for up-to-date events surrounding this project!



The 1975 image above shows a house at 725 West Vermont Street:  these residents and their last few neighbors already were engulfed by IUPUI parking lots.  Bright Street runs from left to right across this picture, toward the former School of Law on New York Street.  The large building in the immediate background was the Century Biscuit Company.  The Biscuit factory at the northeast corner of New York and Blackford Streets closed after World War II (from IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives). Caption courtesy of Dr. Paul Mullins.



Last updated by on 06/09/2010