City and Regional Planning

Akira Drake Rodriguez

Monday, February 7, 2022 6:00pm
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Meyerson Hall, B-3

To ensure the health and safety of everyone at Weitzman events, visitors to Penn’s campus are required to register in advance and complete PennOpen Campus on the day of the event. Members of the Penn community do not need to register in advance, but will be required to present a valid PennCard as well as PennOpen Pass for entry to in-person events. Please plan to arrive early. Double masking, or use of a KN95 or N95 mask, is required in Penn buildings.

Please join us on Monday, February 7th at 6pm to hear Dr. Akira Drake Rodriguez discuss her new book, Diverging Space for Deviants.

Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing is a 75-year history of the first public housing program in the United States.  When the Atlanta Housing Authority demolished one of its last developments in 2013, it removed one of the last spaces in the city for Black feminist working-class and working-poor politics.  At its peak, nearly ten percent of the city’s residents lived in one of the 32 public housing developments across the city.  Using the unique multi-scalar positioning of the public housing development – federally-funded, state-legislated, and locally-administered – tenant associations were able to mobilize a wealth of resources to overcome the different levels of marginalization and exclusion faced by their constituents.  Public housing developments in Atlanta pre-date the full enfranchisement of the city’s Black residents, and it is in these origins that the politics of public housing residents transform to account for the many forms of exclusion, difference, and deviance over time.  In this talk, Akira Drake Rodriguez will demonstrate how necessary the work of public housing and its tenants, planners, policymakers, and administrators was in making the “mecca” of Atlanta: a place for a thriving and sustained Black middle- and working-class. 




If you require any accessibility accommodation, such as live captioning, audio description, or a sign language interpreter, please email to let us know what you need. Please note, we require at least 48 hours’ notice. If you register within 48 hours of this event, we won’t be able to secure the appropriate accommodations.