“Downtown Displaced”—a mobile exhibition produced by and traveling in American University’s Humanities Truck—explores the social costs of neighborhood change in Washington D.C.’s Mount Vernon Square and its surrounding neighborhoods. Efforts to renew and develop the area have led to nearly two centuries of repeated community displacement, primarily of immigrants and African Americans.
The project is the product of a five-month-long collaboration with Street Sense’s Homeless Filmmakers Co-op (HFC) and is unique in its model of Research Justice, which aims to engage with affected communities as both sources of knowledge and as an audience for the resulting research. In an informative series of tweets, project leader Dr. Dan Kerr describes the motivation behind the project, the collaborative process, and the Research Justice model that his team employed.
The Humanities Truck is an interdisciplinary platform of the Public History and Communications Program at American University designed to facilitate collaborative community-based research, scholarship, and exhibitions.