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Spatial Justice Studio announces 2019-20 grants

Center for Design Innovations building illuminated at night
The Spatial Justice Studio is based at the Center for Design Innovation (CDI).

The Spatial Justice Studio at the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) has awarded $12,500 in grants for projects that focus on developing meaningful solutions to spatial justice issues in Winston-Salem.

“We are pleased to announce our second year of SJS Fellows, who will continue to explore a wide variety of spatial justice issues within Forsyth County,” said Dr. Russell Smith, Winston-Salem State University geography professor and faculty lead for the studio. “ These projects will lead to the development of a more equitable future for all Forsyth County residents.”

Each fellow has been awarded a $2,500 stipend. Work will be completed during the 2019-20 academic year.

Spatial Justice Community Fellows

Property Value Changes and the Impact on Communities in Forsyth County

Fellow: Megan Grigg

About: This study seeks to understand what makes a community attractive to public and private businesses, and how access to social support systems and their location impacts populations aging in place, by analyzing property value changes and its impact on community investments and dis-investments in select communities across Forsyth County. 

Web Application for Brownfield Identification in Forsyth County

Fellow: Joseph Sloop

About: This is phase II of a project that was first awarded funding in 2018. This project supports brownfield initiatives within low-income communities by making the brownfield database and mapping system for East Winston more accessible. Once the application is complete, there will be training the trainer sessions to help individuals and groups learn to use the application.

Spatial Justice Faculty Fellows

Fellow: Daniel Rose, assistant professor of behavioral sciences

About: This research will examine the relationship between the siting of federally subsidized housing and the quality of public schools closest to residents of those homes in Forsyth County. Although, Forsyth County operates on a “school choice” model of enrollment that permits parents to select from a wider geographic zone, previous research has shown that low-income parents are often constrained in their ability to take advantage of options outside of their immediate neighborhoods. I hope to determine whether the type of housing and its location plays a role in the educational opportunities of low-income residents.

Assessing Neighborhood Infrastructure through an Equity Lens

Fellow: Elise Barrella, research assistant professor at Wake Forest University

About: This project will characterize local impacts of inequitable distribution of large-scale infrastructure to or through neighborhoods and support data-driven efforts for resident-led change. In particular, my focus for the fellowship year is developing and testing methods for neighborhood identification and visualization of physical assets and challenges and building relationships for long-term collaboration. A philosophy underlying the choice of methods is that neighborhoods should collect and control their own data.

This is the second year the studio has awarded grants.

The Spatial Justice Studio is one of four studios that received start-up funding in 2018 from CDI, a multi-campus research center for the University of North Carolina located in Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The studio aims to explore alternative possibilities for urban areas and ways to achieve more equitable urban futures through active research, engaged teaching practices and community-based participatory research.

CDI was established in 2005 through a partnership between WSSU, UNCSA, and Forsyth Technical Community College.

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