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Jacquie HouselGeographic Information Science IGERT
State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo
Jacquie Housel, a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography is in the final stages of her research on ways that place and race are mutually constituted in this highly segregated city. This work has involved observing racial profiling study circles, directing focus groups, conducting personal interviews, and soliciting travel diaries from several different population groups to explore their racialized senses of place. These groups include: African-American parents of teens to see what they tell their children about safe and dangerous spaces, young African-American adults to see how their family and work lives are bounded or opened by racial practices (particularly with regard to white suburbs and police profiling), and elderly whites living in ‘their’ neighborhoods that are now almost all African-American to see how their daily activity spaces are shaped by racialized perceptions. In this way, Jacquie hopes to capture a sense of the relationship between the social/institutional regulation of urban space and how individuals give racialized meanings to space.
The IGERT fellowship has provided many opportunities, including conducting research with faculty in political science (2001). Working with Dr. Munroe Eagles, this research focused on a contested redistricting case in Erie County and involved attending public meetings and identifying problems in the numerical compilation of districts among the different stakeholders. This research culminated in a study that explored the efforts of individuals outside of the official political redistricting process to construct a 'Hispanic' identity to influence the reordering of political space. Jacquie also interned (2002) with the University Community Initiative—an organization that links university resources at the University at Buffalo with those of stakeholders in the neighborhoods around the campus. This work included giving presentations on the use of GIS as planning and program development tools, assisted community agencies with demographic and other information retrieval needs, and surveyed/interviewed community organizations and local government agencies about their information needs. A second project involved helping redesign a network of collaborative community-focused projects to create a proposal submitted to the US Department of housing and Urban Development, the Community Outreach Partnership Center Program.
Another project involved observing and reviewing a project initiated by the Buffalo Police Department focused on strategies to reduce racial profiling. Under this grant (from the DOJ COPS office), the police partnered with a community organization to conduct facilitated study circles with police and community participants. This project involved attending study circles held citywide, planning meetings, police informational meetings, and press conferences. This project culminated in a ‘best practices’ guide (co-authored with Dr. Pam Beal, 2003) submitted to the Department of Justice COPS office. This year-long project was the platform for her dissertation research.
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