Eddy Almonte (he/him) is an urban planner and Queens native with a passion for supporting and uplifting marginalized communities and spaces. With extensive experience in community engagement in the affordable housing sector, Eddy specializes in leading community planning processes for housing preservation and new construction projects in NYC. Recently, Eddy served in roles in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) distilling complex housing policies and initiatives to accessible public-facing materials for all audiences. Throughout the years, Eddy has focused on understanding the local implications of macro-level policy decisions at the intersection of race, gender identity, class, and sexual orientation.
Eddy is a graduate of the M.S. Urban Planning Program at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University where he focused on community and economic development, public engagement, and spatial analysis of queer public/private spaces. Eddy also served as a fellow under the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development Morgan Stanley Fellowship and worked at Ascendant Neighborhood Development in East Harlem.
The intertwined public health, economic, social and political crises facing cities have brought renewed attention to entrenched racial inequality and oppression in the United States, particularly anti-Black racism. Students in this course will develop a critical understanding of causes and consequences of racial inequality in America with a focus on spatial inequality, racial segregation, and concentrated poverty in cities. We will start by contextualizing the current political moment with an exploration of the role public policy played in creating and perpetuating urban inequality. We will then focus on the continued consequences of spatial inequality and racial segregation on individual and community well-being and the significance for contemporary policy issues, spanning political representation and voting rights, to gentrification and displacement, policing, and inequality in access to quality education, healthy neighborhoods, and employment. We conclude with the visions for a more just and equitable future articulated by activists, scholars, and front-line community groups. This course will draw on classic academic materials on American urban history, contemporary research, multimedia such as podcasts and music, and investigative and data journalism.