Mar 11: Tanya Golash-Boza: "Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC's Racial Wealth Gap"

This Politics Department talk is co-sponsored by the Sociology Department.

March 04, 2024


Monday, March 11

3:30 - 5:00 PM

Charles E. Merrill Lounge

Event Description

This talk will show how a century of redlining, disinvestment, and the War on Drugs wreaked devastation on Black people and paved the way for gentrification in Washington, DC. Dr. Tanya Golash-Boza tracks the cycles of state abandonment and punishment that have shaped the city, revealing how policies and policing work to displace and decimate the Black middle class. Through the stories of those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, Golash-Boza explores how DC came to be the nation’s “Murder Capital” and incarceration capital, and why it’s now a haven for wealthy White people. This troubling history makes clear that the choice to use prisons and policing to solve problems faced by Black communities in the twentieth century—instead of investing in schools, community centers, social services, health care, and violence prevention—is what made gentrification possible in the twenty-first.


Dr. Tanya Golash-Boza is the Executive Director of the University of California Washington Center. She is the founder of the Racism, Capitalism, and the Law (RCL) Lab and a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced.  She has spent her scholarly career working to understand why racial and economic disparities exist, how racism intersects with capitalism, and how our legal system upholds these inequities. She is the author of over 50 academic articles and six books. Her latest book, based on research funded by the National Science Foundation, is Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap (University of California Press, 2023).