November 10 CURE Seminar Series with Nikil Saval

The Whole-Home Repair Program

Thursday, November 10
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Alumni House Conference Room (Hybrid via Zoom)
Lunch will be served
Open to the public

 

Abstract: 

Creating equitable and just communities and maintaining safe and healthy homes are two sides of the same coin. Hundreds of thousands of homes across Pennsylvania have moderate to severe physical inadequacies, including leaky roofs or windows, inadequate wiring, unreliable heat, or the lack of a flushing toilet. This deferred maintenance endangers the health of the home’s residents, including through exposure to mold, lead, and extreme temperatures in the winter and summer. The climate crisis, causing Pennsylvania to become increasingly hotter and wetter, exacerbates the deterioration of our homes by exposing them to conditions they were never intended to withstand, simultaneously burdening residents with crushing utility bills. 

The Whole-Home Repairs Program—introduced by Senator Saval this past March and signed into law in July—establishes a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization while building out local workforces and adding new family-sustaining jobs in a growing field. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, making it so that Pennsylvanians can stay warm, safe, and dry in homes they can afford.    

This program reinforces the adage that “the most affordable home is the one you already have.” It also speaks to the belief in the preservation community that preserving a home is about more than saving a building and keeping its occupants healthy; it is about preserving cultural memory and the character of neighborhoods and cities. 

The Whole-Home Repairs Program won because of bipartisan support in both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, champions at all levels of government, and grassroots support from practitioners, advocates, community organizations, and residents across the state, revealing that rural and urban communities alike are engaged in a shared struggle against the detrimental effects of blight, abandonment, vacancy, and displacement, and the accompanying community-wide harms that this cycle triggers. 

About Nikil Saval: 

Senator Nikil Saval represents the First Senate District in the Pennsylvania legislature, where he serves as Democratic Chair of the Senate’s Urban Affairs & Housing Committee. Saval’s legislative work is focused on addressing Pennsylvania’s ongoing housing, mass incarceration, wage, and climate crises, while simultaneously pushing for structural change. His office led the creation of the Whole-Home Repairs Program, which establishes a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization, and which was adopted by the legislature in July.   

Saval has written extensively for The New York Times and The New Yorker and served as co-editor of literary journal n+1 (he remains on its board). He is the author of Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace (Doubleday, 2014).

October 13 CURE Seminar Series with Mustafa Saqib

Lessons Learned from Democratization (State-building) efforts in Afghanistan: the divide between urban-rural politics

Thursday, October 13
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Alumni House Conference Room
(Hybrid via Zoom)
Lunch will be served
Open to the public


Abstract:

The progressive state-building process aiming to achieve a stable democracy failed in Afghanistan as the Republic was collapsed in a matter of weeks in the summer of 2021 by a hardline insurgent group. Afghanistan is widely considered difficult to govern by a modern state. However, this paper suggests that the key to success in Afghanistan is by a greater understanding and valuation of the diversity of rural society. Afghanistan’s 2021 political crisis that resulted in the rapid collapse of the entire system has proven once again that rural Afghanistan – which is at the epicenter of the nation’s most serious challenges – has been misunderstood and oftentimes dismissed. The present study’s main topic is the disenfranchisement of citizens in the democratic process as a result of a flawed constitutional structure. It provides an overview of twenty years of the international community’s costly engagement in Afghanistan to foster democracy and establish a legitimate state and highlights its implications on the rural-urban divide. This study argues that centralization misguides the process of state-building, making rural societies difficult to govern, and marginalizes rural populations from the benefits of modern society.

About Mustafa Saqib:

Mustafa Saqib is a Visiting Research Scholar at Rutgers University in Camden supported by the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund, and a law lecturer at Herat University Afghanistan. He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey, focused on comparing local government and elections of Turkey and Afghanistan. Before starting his Master of Law degree at the University of Washington Seattle, he pioneered legal clinical education in Afghanistan in 2013. Mr. Saqib has served in the implementation of several legal projects related to the Rule of Law and Human Rights Center and Alternative Dispute Resolution Center at Herat U. His research interests include constitutional law, human rights, elections and local governance (Marmara Journal), contemporary legal systems & comparative law. He is currently writing about lessons learned from the Afghanistan peace process.

 

September 15 CURE Seminar Series with Sarah DeGiorgis

Fall 2022 Cure Seminar Series - Upcoming seminars

Housing Policies and Home:  Tenant Experiences in Public Housing

Thursday, September 15
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Campus Center, West Conference Room (also live-streamed on Zoom)
Lunch will be served
Open to the public


Abstract:

How do public housing authorities and public housing residents differ in their views of key aspects of public housing policy such as the concept of home?  Public housing residents are bound by public housing policies but we know very little about the experiences of the residents themselves.  Sarah DeGiorgis became interested in this topic while working as the Program Manager for the Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation Grants at the Housing Authority of the City of Camden.  Her interviews with residents will provide important insight into understanding how public housing policies directly affect residents’ lives, centered on the concept of home.

About the speaker:

Sarah DeGiorgis is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Affairs at Rutgers University. She holds a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers and a bachelor of arts in English from Oberlin College.  Sarah’s research interests include affordable and public housing, community erasure, the financialization of housing, and participatory mapping/GIS.

 

April 7 CURE Seminar Series: The Paradox of Urban Revitalization by Howard Gillette

April 7 CURE Seminar Series: The Paradox of Urban Revitalization by Howard Gillette

View this seminar recording below:

 

Date: Thursday, April 7
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Location: Rutgers–Camden Alumni House

About the Seminar:

In the twenty-first century, cities in the United States that had suffered most the shift to a postindustrial era entered a period widely proclaimed as an urban renaissance. From Detroit to Newark to Camden as well as elsewhere commentators saw cities rising again. Yet revitalization generated a second urban crisis marked by growing inequality and civil unrest reminiscent of the upheavals associated with the first urban crisis in the mid-twentieth century. The urban poor and residents of color have remained very much at a disadvantage in the face of racially biased capital investments, narrowing options for affordable housing, and mass incarceration. In profiling nine cities grappling with challenges of the twenty-first century, Howard Gillette evaluates in his new book the uneven efforts to secure racial and class equity as city fortunes have risen. Charting the tension between the practice of corporate subsidy and efforts to assure social justice, The Paradox of Urban Revitalization assesses the course of urban politics and policy over the past half century, before the COVID-19 pandemic upended everything, and details prospects for achieving greater equity in the years ahead.

About Howard Gillette, Ph.D.: 

Howard Gillette is Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers-Camden, the founding director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, and co-editor of the on-line Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, which is hosted at Rutgers-Camden. His new book builds on previous work, including previous studies of Camden and Washington, DC, to bring the stories of the drive for urban social justice up to the present.

 

 

 

CURE Seminar March 3: Being a U.S.-Educated Scholar Under the Taliban Regime – Living in Constant Fear” with Mustafa Saqib

Date: Thursday, March 3
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Rutgers–Camden Alumni House, RUAA Board Room

 

Event recording

 

About the talk

This lecture will explore the hardships that an Afghan scholar faced before miraculously making it to safety, beyond the reach of the Taliban, in order to continue his research and complete his dissertation in political science.

Mustafa Saqib is a democracy reform and local governance scholar who received steadfast support from a wide span of courageous people, institutions, and international organizations in order to successfully flee sanction and prosecution from the Taliban. He was targeted both for his U.S.-education and for his alliances with various justice reform programs in Afghanistan. He remains committed to illustrating the difficult conditions under which Afghan scholars are working now, and to sharing his unlikely story of rescue and restoration to his studies.

About Mustafa Saqib

Mustafa Saqib is a Visiting Research Scholar at Rutgers University in Camden supported by the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund, and a law lecturer at Herat University Afghanistan. He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey, focused on comparing local government and elections of Turkey and Afghanistan. Before starting his Master of Law degree at the University of Washington Seattle, he pioneered legal clinical education in Afghanistan in 2013. Mr. Saqib has served in the implementation of several legal projects related to the Rule of Law and Human Rights Center and Alternative Dispute Resolution Center at Herat U. His research interests include constitutional law, human rights, elections and local governance (Marmara Journal), contemporary legal systems & comparative law. He is currently writing about lessons learned from the Afghanistan peace process.