This Is GentrificationMillennials 4 Environmental JusticeWHAT IS GENTRIFICATIONIS IT GOOD OR BAD?
03A Letter from our Founder
04Meet our Team
11What is Gentrification?
12Is Gentrification Good or Bad?
13An Interview with Holly Myers
14Top 10 Most Gentrified Cities
15Get Engaged on Social Media with #ThisIsGentrification
1616 Things We Bet You Didn't Know about Climate Gentrification
A Letter from
our Founder
Gentrification has hurt our communities in more ways than we can imagine. We have seen our communities get destroyed, our families get pushed out of their homes due to rapidly increasing rental properties, our local mom and pop shops being put out of business, and the character and culture that makes our communities have essentially been torn down.

Gentrification is more than just new buildings and infrastructure, it’s redeveloping a neighborhood to fit the needs and taste of people who don’t even live within these neighborhoods. Planners have not done their duty in engaging with current community members to ensure that their neighborhood needs are met. Families are getting displaced, forced into homeless shelters, and at times, resulting in isolation.   

Gentrification has the potential to be reshaped into something that benefits everyone, especially those who live within the neighborhoods that are experiencing gentrification. Instead of ignoring community members, encourage and engage with us; instead of shutting down our businesses, offer more opportunities for partnerships and jobs for our youth; instead of appropriating our culture, embrace it and show interest in learning from it. 

I am the founder and acting Director of Millennials 4 Environmental Justice (M4EJ), an organization committed to informing, advocating, and engaging with communities of color as it related to environmental and social justice within their own neighborhoods. M4EJ focuses on 4 target areas: food security, community urban planning, economic development, and environmental health. M4EJ has committed to educating, advocating, and engaging with communities and other stakeholders of the harms that gentrification has done, while also showing people how gentrification can be replaced with community-led urban planning initiatives.

We invite you to read our September magazine issue on This Is Gentrification and to share the issue across your networks so that we can all have a better understanding of gentrification and how to eliminate the trauma it has caused us. 

Diamond Spratling
Millennials 4 Environmental Justice, Founder
Diamond SpratlingFounderMeet our M4EJ Team
Diamond is the founder and acting director of Millennials 4 Environmental Justice. Diamond began her education studying Environmental Policy and Analysis until she then went on to earn her MPH from Emory University. In her professional and educational career, Diamond has reached many milestones including earning the William H. Sterner Memorial Award for demonstration of concern for and awareness of the environment, the Elmore Manufacturing Award, and the Outstanding APE Award in 2020. Diamond has contributed her career to fighting for environmental and social justice across low-income communities of color. Ms. Spratling has served as an activist and lobbyist against poorly regulated environmental policies, served on grant committees, developed curriculums for environmental justice, and led research studies on the built environment and health.

“We all want to see our communities thrive and our favorite local businesses grow, but unfortunately, gentrification has taken a turn for the worse. Gentrification has stripped communities of their culture while resulting in increased rent prices and the closure of small businesses. People take pride in the neighborhoods they belong to, but when communities are shut out of the decision making and development of their own neighborhood, this results in tension between community members and planners, and the neighborhood they once loved, no longer serves them. And that is why we can’t afford to see another one of our neighborhoods undergo gentrification”
Miarri PhillipsCampaign Lead
Meet Miarri
Miarri began her work with M4EJ Summer of 2020 serving as the Health and Justice intern where she created and implemented this digital campaign surrounded by gentrification.

Miarri is a sophomore at Bowling Green State University, studying both Psychology and Sociology. Miarri is very interested in the injustices that are occurring and are placed upon minorities through systematic structures. She has been exploring this through many different aspects whether it is mass incarceration or climate change, she believes justice needs to be served and she is dedicated to coming up with new solutions and initiatives to support minorities affected by these systems. Ms. Phillips has been a part of various organizations that help create serious change to combat these issues and attended many conferences as well. “Gentrification is displacing many businesses and community members within their own communities. When gentrification occurs the people that are coming into these neighborhoods trying to take over only have one goal which is to confirm that neighborhood into a middle-class aspiration. People don’t take into account that these businesses or contractors have no desire to actually help those that have lived in that area and will continue to live in these areas. This isn’t helping at all so lets put an end to gentrification.”
Alexandrea Adams
Board Member
Meet Alex
Alexandrea Adams is an advocate for quality healthcare access for all. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor degree in biology and public policy and graduated from University at Buffalo with a master's degree in biological sciences. Alexandrea has researched implications of the Affordable Care Act, naloxone usage in schools, and affordable housing in the Upper Valley. She conducted research about trust building strategies between medically underserved communities and neurologists to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease. She is currently serving as a board member for M4EJ and working on social justice focused policy initiatives. Alexandrea hopes to become a physician-advocate, healing both patients and communities.

As a native Detroiter, I think it is important to stop gentrification because I have observed first-hand how harmful it can be to communities. Although the gentrification process in downtown Detroit has brought economic opportunities, it has also displaced families and forced Black owned businesses to close. Additionally, the new opportunities are often catered to non-Detroit residents. Furthermore, gentrification pressures cities to cater to a new population which can increase incidents of police brutality and shift resources from tax paying residents.
Christina DeehrBoard Member
Meet Christina
Christina started serving M4EJ in February of 2019. She received her B.A in Environmental Policy and Analysis with a specialization in sustainable management from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). In May of 2020, she earned her Masters in Public Administration. Currently, Christina is a full-time economic development coordinator and rural planner in NW Ohio. She enjoys collaborating with the M4EJ board to bring a better life to others experiencing environmental injustices. M4EJ values her passion for sustainability and community development to bring new ideas to the environmental justice movement. Christina advocates for the end of gentrification because citizens should not be pushed out of their home community for falling on hard times and not being provided the adequate resources for success."
Marley PetersBoard Member
Meet Marley
Marley graduated from Dartmouth College in 2018 with a degree in English literature and currently lives in Atlanta and works as a paralegal for a civil rights firm. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and she enjoys reading, writing, and cooking in her free time. Marley plans on applying to law school and continuing her work in the legal fields of civil rights and criminal justice reform.

“Gentrification reinforces the reality that capitalism places people with means on the top and people without on the bottom. People without means are deemed unworthy of neighborhood revitalization and due to the increase of cost of living, they are forced out of their neighborhoods causing a domino effect of issues in their reality, such as having to find new jobs, new housing, and an increase in commute time, different childcare resources and a possible decrease in overall safety just to name a few.”
Shalon Stevens
Meet Shalon
Shalon Stevens is from Columbus, Ohio. She recently moved to the sunshine state as she is focusing on pursuing a career in Journalism. Shalon is a proud alumna of Bowling Green State University, where she received her degree in Journalism. Shalon’s focus is Multi-platform Journalism and she has a specialization in Spanish. Shalon is passionate about reporting and being able to share it with the world. She is excited to be a part of this powerful movement as Millennials are the future of the world. Shalon hopes to learn, grow, and network with other individuals who embody the organization’s mission.

“I think that when we have a system where black people are constantly a target, then something has to be changed. It’s okay to want a better community, a safer place for our children but displacing people out of a place they call home is not the way. A better community shouldn’t mean pushing people, it should be about bringing people together.”
Maxim Tamarov
Journalism Intern
Meet Maxim
Maxim Tamarov was a journalism intern at Millennials 4 Environmental Justice and continues to contribute to the publication. Maxim wrote about a myriad of environmental justice-related topics, including about how the census is used in EJ activism and how some populations were affected by the coronavirus.
In addition to M4EJ, Maxim is a news writer for TechTarget and contributor to the Sun-Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. Maxim graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism.

Maxim sees gentrification as a pernicious force that disrupts community cohesion and exacerbates latent inequalities by pushing out those unable to afford rent in places taken over by a wealthier population. Gentrification often leaves the poorer population with nowhere to go. He was a first-hand witness of this, having gone to a university that led the gentrification of the nearby neighborhood in Roxbury.
Let's Check In!

What is gentrification the process of?
A. Neighborhood change
B. State change
C. Environmental makeup

What are some of the causes that have left low-income communities susceptible to gentrification? 
A. Redlining
B. White Flight
C. Urban Renewal
D. Subprime Lending
E. Disinvestment
F. Foreclosure Crisis
G. All of the above

What is the process of denying access to loans that we would enable to buy or repair homes in their neighborhoods?
A. The Suburban Act
B. Homeowners Law
C. Redlining

When are people moving to these neighborhoods?

A. No rent
B. Affordability
C. The lifestyle

What are the effects displacement has on children?

A. Negative health impacts
B. Disrupting education
C. Both a and b

Gentrification: Is it Good or Bad?Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving housing or a district so that it conforms to middle class taste. So, what does that mean? How does it work?

When an area has desirable qualities and is ripe for change, that’s usually when gentrification occurs. If there are new job opportunities in an area that is scarce, pressure increases to build houses in an area that was once undesirable.

Gentrification is a domino effect. If a few people are willing to relocate to an area that is out of the norm for their class and racial lines, others start to see familiar faces and hear by word of mouth. A rundown neighborhood has beenrevitalized and more people are moving into a once non desirable area.
A neighborhood that is gentrified can become a “victim of its own success.” Increases in rent and property values is what drives the flux of new people. When a neighborhood is on the upscale, it is not always true for its current residents, it actually displaces them. Renters are most affected by gentrification. Tenants get “the boot” when prices go up. As buildings get sold, buyers often evict the existing residents to make room for themselves, combine units, or bring in new tenants as a whole at a higher rate.
A neighborhood that is gentrified can become a “victim of its own success.”Some might argue that gentrification is a positive aspect to the community. As wealthier people move into a low-income area, more capital is brought in. When capital increases, it is likely that more businesses will be built and there will be opportunities for more jobs. This increase in job opportunity leads to a population boom. With this,
gentrification increases the tax base of a community. More people and businesses are paying taxes.

What does all of this really mean? Depending on how gentrification affects you, you may agree or disagree. Why not revitalize a neighborhood? But, why displace people from their homes?
Gentrification is so much more than building new housing infrastructure and introducing new businesses, it robs communities of their culture and pushes already vulnerable people out of their
homes. Stand up against gentrification in your community and others alike. Join Millennials 4 Environmental Justice in advocating for a community urban planning approach without the gentrification of innocent neighborhoods. Be a part of the development of neighborhoods that will include communities in decision-making, allow families to keep their homes, and invest in the mom and pop
A Legend in the Field of Urban Planning and Environmental Justice
1Washington, DC
2018 Total Population: 702,455
Number of Neighborhoods: 1346
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 40%
2San Diego, CA2018 Total Population: 1,425,976
Total Neighborhoods: 627
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 29%
3New York City, NY2018 Total Population: 8,398,748
Total Neighborhoods: 4515
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 24%
4Alberquerque, NM2018 Total Population: 560,218
Total Neighborhoods: 202
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 23%
5Atlanta, GA
2018 Total Population: 498,044
Total Neighborhoods: 946
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 22%
6Baltimore, MD
2019 Total Population: 602,495
Total Neighborhoods: 679
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 22%
7Portland, OR
2018 Total Population: 653,115
Total Neighborhoods: 491
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 20%
8Pittsburgh, PA
2018 Total Population: 301,048
Total Neighborhoods: 711
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 20%
9Seattle, WA
2018 Total Population: 744,955
Total Neighborhoods: 718
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 20%
10Philadelphia, PA
2018 Total Population: 1,584,138
Total Neighborhoods: 1473
Gentrified Neighborhoods: 17%.
To view more data trends and how this methodology was developed, view the report 
16 Things We Bet You Didn't Know
about Climate Gentrification
  1. Climate change can cause displacement across the U.S
  2. As the Earth warms, freshwater will begin to become scarce
  3. Climate adaptation will be beneficial to think about how to create value and take advantage of climate change
  4. The population that resides in many cities where climate crisis occur are typically wealthier and can afford things such as flood insurance
  5. Climate Gentrification talks about risks and the level of risks pertaining to climate situations such as elevation, sea level rise, or proximity to wildfires
  6. Climate gentrification adds on an additional layer to traditional gentrification
  7. Climate change is a threat multiplier, adding additional stressors to pre-existing community issues
  8. Property Tax rolls in coastal cities show purchasing power that is being reflected by municipal bond credit markets
  9. Environmental factors cause residents to become displaced
  10. Miami is one of the cities most heavily hit by gentrification due to the high rise of sea levels
  11. People that are impacted by natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina who have lower income are asked to evacuate
  12. Urban heat islands tend to be worse in low-income residents and communities of color due to disparities in landscaping and urban designs of these neighborhoods
  13. Droughts have extreme displacements on farmworker livelihoods and lead to their displacement by reducing economic opportunity
  14. Urban greening strategies such as parks, trees, and green places all tend to increase surrounding property values and may contribute to gentrification and displacement if not implemented equitability
  15. Improved energy efficiency raises property values but eases utility costs, which can have countervailing effects on displacement
  16. In some regions, communities with higher levels of social vulnerability are disproportionately exposed to a fire risk and more likely to experience a fire displacement
Sources: /climate_and_displacement_in_the_us.pdf
A Special Thank YouMiarri Phillips, Lead Campaign Manager
Diamond Spratling, Co-Campaign Manager
Shalon Stevens, "Is Gentrification Bad" Journalist
Holly Myers, Interviewee
Urban Displacement, "What Is Gentrification" video
Madison Cozzens, Photography