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Urban Renewal Impact website to be launched June 24

A new website that allows residents to tell their stories about the impact of the urban renewal program that uprooted the Black community from its traditional neighborhoods in Asheville will be launched Thursday, part of the first phase of city’s plan to implement its July 2020 resolution to provide reparations to the Black community.

The website, “Urban Renewal Impact,” was created by Priscilla Ndiaye Robinson, a former Southside resident and researcher on urban renewal. Robinson said her work, which was supported by funding in 2021 from the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County, is expected to be “an important resource in the truth-and-reconciliation conversations on reparations in Asheville.”

A multiyear digital collaboration with local citizens and experts, the website focuses on urban renewal programs in the 1950s to 1980s that displaced Black communities from such areas as Valley Street (now South Charlotte St.) and Southside (also called East Riverside in the urban renewal program).  (See Asheville Watchdog’s stories on reparations here and Black home ownership here.)

Robinson unveils the website on in the evening of June 24th.  It can be accessed through this link: http://urbanrenewalimpact.org/  after the 7 p.m. launch. — B.D.

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