Metropolitan Policy Center’s Urban Speaker Series featuring
Dr. Michael R. Fisher Jr.
Black No More: Public Housing Reform and the Demise of Barry Farm
Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 5:30PM - 6:30PM (ET)
American University, Kerwin Hall, Room 301
Studies of the consequences of public housing tenants who moved to mixed-income neighborhoods indicate that mixed-income housing creation as a policy solution to concentrated poverty fails to principally produce the outcomes alleged by its proponents. Instead, it largely displaces former tenants and disrupts their networks of support. Despite this fact, the devotion among policymakers and others remains commonplace. This talk explores the consequences of this policy failure for Black communities in high-poverty neighborhoods through a discussion of the planned redevelopment of Barry Farm Dwellings—a former public housing property in the historically Black neighborhood of Barry Farm in Southeast D.C.
Michael R. Fisher Jr., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of African American Studies in the College of Social Sciences and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Humanities in the College of Humanities and the Arts at San José State University. He is also an Affiliate Scholar at the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Gender Studies at the University of South Africa. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Fisher specializes in affordable housing and homelessness, ethics and public policy, and race and socio-economic inequality. His current book project—Black Community Building: Public Housing Reform and the Promise of an Alternative Model to Mixed-Income Neighborhoods—is under contract with Georgetown University Press.
Before his career as an educator, Dr. Fisher was a public policy advocate on Capitol Hill. His policy portfolio included federal social welfare programs addressing poverty. He later transitioned to local politics and public policy when he became the inaugural Director of Advocacy at a nonprofit organization. There he was responsible for the development of the organization’s policy agenda and advocacy strategy for affordable housing creation and the elimination of chronic homelessness in the nation’s capital, working with other activists, agencies, D.C. residents, and elected officials in the process.