Evicted: Poverty, Housing Insecurity, and the Changing Urban Landscape.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
4:30–6 p.m. (doors open at 4 p.m.)
72 East Concord Street
Live-Streaming Available During Event
SPH Reads is a school-wide program hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The fall 2018 selection is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, the 2017 Pulitzer Prize–winning book by Matthew Desmond. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation) and “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted explores the stories of tenants and landlords in the poorest areas of Milwaukee where eviction is a routine and vicious cycle.
Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Sheila Dillon is the chief of Housing and director of Neighborhood Development for the City of Boston. As a member of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s cabinet, she acts as an advisor to the mayor on housing issues in the city, including the execution of the Walsh administration’s housing plan, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, and its Action Plan to End Veteran and Chronic Homelessness in Boston 2015–2018. Dillon oversees the management of the Boston Home Center, the Neighborhood Housing Development team, and the Real Estate Management and Sales team, and spearheads the city’s efforts around housing Boston’s homeless. In addition, she will lead the administration’s newly formed Office of Housing Stability, which is charged with protecting residents’ tenancies in Boston’s fast-moving real estate market. This work includes managing a staff of 150 and a budget of $83 million, which includes federal grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to her appointment as chief of Housing, Dillon served as the director of the Bureau of Rental Assistance at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. In this role, she oversaw the Section 8 Program, the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, and many of the state’s homeless programs. She has also served as deputy director of DND’s Neighborhood Housing Division and as deputy director of Housing for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Prior to her work in government, Dillon was the director of Real Estate at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and the director of Development for the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. She holds an MBA from Suffolk University and an MA in psychology from Pepperdine University. Dillon currently lives in Boston with her husband and two children.
JoHanna Flacks, Legal Director, MLPB
JoHanna Flacks is the legal director at Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLPB). In this role, she links MLPB’s workforce capacity-building services to broader opportunities to inform public policy in ways that will reduce health disparities. Before joining MLPB, Flacks was in private practice, and provided pro bono services to the Cape Cod Anti-Discrimination Task Force in its successful campaign to establish the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. Prior to that, she served as assistant general counsel for the Boston Public Health Commission and as senior investigator for the Boston Fair Housing Commission. She began her career as a labor-side employment discrimination litigation associate. Flacks graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Brandeis University.
Byron Rushing, Massachusetts State Representative
State Representative Byron Rushing was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1982. He came to the House with a work background of community organizing and of Afro-American history. In the legislature, Rushing’s priorities are human and civil rights, and the development of democracy; local human, economic, and housing development; and housing and health care for all. He is the House majority whip. Born in New York City, Rushing has lived in Boston since 1964. During the 1960s, he was active in the civil rights movement—working for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in Syracuse, NY—and as a community organizer for the Northern Student Movement in Boston. He directed a group of organizers, Roxbury Associates, who helped to found the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation, one of the first CDCs in the nation, and who began some of the earliest organizing in a black community against the war in Vietnam. During his time in Boston, Rushing has worked for and with community-based organizations—for greater political participation and against neighborhood debilitation. He serves in his office with an understanding of the history of poor and working-class people and with a belief in democratic citizen control.
Megan Sandel, Associate Director, GROW Clinic, Boston Medical Center; Principal Investigator, Children’s HealthWatch; and Associate Professor, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health
Megan Sandel is associate director of the GROW Clinic at Boston Medical Center, principal investigator with Children’s HealthWatch, and associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She is the former pediatric medical director of Boston Health Care for the Homeless, and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health. In 1998, she published, with other doctors at Boston Medical Center, the DOC4Kids report , the first-of-its-kind national report on how housing affected child health. Over the course of her career, Sandel has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles on this subject. In 2001, she became the first medical director of the founding site for medical-legal partnerships, Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston, and from 2007–2016 she served as the medical director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. She served as principal investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and foundation grants, working with the Boston Public Health Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to improve the health of vulnerable children, particularly those with asthma. She has served on national boards, including Enterprise Community Partners, and national advisory committees at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.
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