S141. The Voices There Before You: Gentrification as Literary Subject and Activism

Portland Ballroom 252, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Saturday, March 30, 2019
9:00 am to 10:15 am


“People have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now shit gotta change because you’re here?” From Spike Lee to bestsellers, gentrification finds a home in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and nationwide. What does gentrification look like in 2019, and how does it create inequity in free expression? Presented by PEN America, this panel explores the ways in which gentrification becomes not only subject matter but inspiration for literary activism.


Clarisse Rosaz-Shariyf

Jessica Ceballos y Campbell curates literary arts programming at Avenue 50 Studio (and throughout L.A.), where she also co-organizes the local L.A. Tenants Union to fight rampant displacement. Her work has been published in various journals and anthologies and she’s published three chapbooks.

In addition to writing poetry, Javon Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Director of African American and African Diaspora Studies and holds an appointment in Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author and educator. Her YA novel Piecing Me Together received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. In 2016, Renée launched I, Too Arts Collective, a nonprofit housed in the Harlem brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and created.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center