A campus-based program showed a documentary focusing on intercity life in Chicago. It may not seem relevant to small-town Fargo, but its themes prevail.
The NDSU Diversity Program held a screening of “The Greens” on Tuesday.
The story is a personal journey of people who lived in a Chicago housing project called Cabrini-Green. At its peak, there were 15,000 residents.
The projects were crime-ridden with a high level of gang activity. The poorly built units were highly neglected and lacked any repairs, leading to unsafe living environments.
In 2000, Chicago enacted a “Plan for Transformation.” This plan demolished Cabrini-Green and displaced all the residents. The residents of Cabrini-Green had a few months notice and were then homeless.
During the documentary, it is reiterated that residents knew that the Cabrini-Green was in disarray. The residents did not like how the decision was made and that their “family” was split up.
“We all grow up with assumptions about our own communities, which cause divisions among us,” Diversity Program coordinator Regina Ranney said. “Anytime we can take an opportunity to see a situation from some else’s perspective, it is beneficial.”
The problems and issues displayed in Chicago can be found on a smaller-scale in our area.
“‘The Greens’ also broaches the topics of race relations and privilege,” Ranney said. “We have seen in the F-M area, not just in national media, that we have deep issues of injustice to amend right here at home.”
“The Green” forces viewers to confront deep assumptions about the neighborhood, its residents, violence and the never-ending battle to find common ground.
The old housing project of Cabrini-Green has since been reinvented into new row houses with mixed income apartments and also multimillion-dollar condos.
This event was put on by Regina Ranney, Hailey Goplen and Nate Bailley from the Memorial Union Office of Civic Engagement.