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Anti-racism Resources

This guide is a starting point for members of the Fitchburg State University community seeking information and resources to learn about anti-racism, white privilege, and inclusion.

Displacement & Dispossession


  • Displacement - household is forced to move from its residence due to either physical reasons (i.e. deteriorating building conditions), economic (i.e. rental costs increase), or by force (i.e. natural disaster, war, persecution, etc.) (Chapple, 2015)
  • Direct displacement - is when residents are forced to move because of immediate factors such as increases in rent or building renovations
  • Indirect displacement - home seekers are shut out due to lack of access to housing due to increasing housing costs (also known as exclusionary displacement) or due to changes in norms, values and traditions of the neighborhood change to a degree that a household does not feel welcome (cultural displacement) (Kennedy & Leonard, 2001)
  • Dispossession – the action of depriving someone of land, property, or other possessions
  • Landlessnessis the quality or state of being without land, access to land, or having private ownership of land.

Dispossession/Displacement: Seneca Village

Founded in 1825, Seneca Village a predominantly free Black settlement, the first of its kind, in what is today Central Park in New York City. The community, which at its peaked at just over 250 residents, existed until 1857 when the residents were ordered through eminent domain to leave their houses, which were demolished for the creation of Central Park. (Central Park Conservancy, 2018)


Additional Reading:

Urban Renewal Displacement

  • Urban renewal (also called urban redevelopment) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. 
  • Urban renewal refers to the program instituted under the federal Housing Act of 1949, which allowed for the taking of land by the government, via eminent domain, in areas deemed “blighted.” After clearing the seized property, the land was sold to developers for new, more desirable uses, such as universities, business complexes, transportation infrastructure, and housing projects. Approximately one million people were displaced in 2,500 projects carried out in 993 American cities; 75% of those displaced were people of color (Fullilove & Wallace, 2011)
  • Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners (Legal Information Institute, n.d.)






Additional Reading:

Housing - Redlining