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LIVE Conversation Portraits: EMMINENT DOMAIN: The American Dream On Sale

June 18, 2008

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Marshall Berman, Mindy Fullilove, Tom Angotti, Brian Berger & Michael Galinksy in conversation, introduced by Kimberly Irwin
direction and live drawings: Flash Rosenberg
video editor: Sarah Lohman

"Few of us emerged from the twentieth century with a strong, sustaining neighborhood to call home. We are sprawled away from one another, or packed into poverty. These two ends must be brought closer toward a middle of vital, dense, playful neighborhoods that nourish our souls and our communities." — Mindy Fullilove

What is the American Dream? Does it mean having a “better life” by creating a home and a community, living together for generations, building and tending relationships to one another and to a place? Or do we create a "better life" by moving up, moving out, removing the old, replacing with the new?

Between 1949 and 1973 urban renewal, a program of the U.S. government, bulldozed 2,500 neighborhoods in 993 American cities and dispossessed one million people. Roots got cut, neighbors and families became separated, languages and cultures were destroyed, and social bonds were broken.

Marshall Berman, Professor of Political Science, City College and the Graduate Center; Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health at Columbia University; Tom Angotti, Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning at Hunter College; and Brian Berger, photographer/blogger, discuss the use of eminent domain and how urban renewal changes the city. Filmmaker Michael Galinsky moderates.