Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LARGECOMM x RR: Urban Affairs Conference

2014 Urban Affairs Association Conference - San Antonio

March proved to be a busy month as I ended with a recent trip to New Orleans, Louisiana - will be writing a post about lessons to be learned from the Crescent City. Representing UTSA College of Public Policy I attended the 44th Annual Urban Affairs Association Conference. With the momentum of revitalizing the inner city, it seemed appropriate for the conference to be held this year in San Antonio.

I discussed all things urban with students, scholars, PhD candidates, and professors alike. My extracurricular research of the history of politics, policy, economics, and culture of San Antonio has paid off as I was able to provide information from a local perspective to conference-goers from Sydney, Chicago, Munich, and other communities from around the globe. In collaboration with the Rivard Report I published a recap of the event:

San Antonio Hosts Urbanists and Focus on the City

Christine Drennon, Director of Urban Studies at Trinity University, presented as this year’s recipient of the 2014 UAA Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award, honored by Juan A. Garcia, President of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, and Beverly Watts-Davis of the United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County.
Drennon has led her efforts with Trinity to become the distinguished partnered researcher for the Promise and Choice Neighborhood plans on San Antonio’s Eastside. Her research for thenewly designated EastPoint neighborhood stands out with statistics from the unconventional aspects of city planning by looking at middle school dropout rates, using digital photography for community members to visually demonstrate neighborhood blight, and other non-traditional means of giving residents a voice in the planning process.
Christine Drennon of Trinity University presenting as recipient of Urban Affairs Association Activist-Scholar Award photo via Instagram
Christine Drennon of Trinity University presenting as recipient of Urban Affairs Association Activist-Scholar Award. Photo by Rene Jaime Gonzalez’ Instagram (@largecomm).

She emphasized the relevance of the impact in hosting community conversations with parents and students to mitigate the often-heated relationship between school districts and the community.
“It’s the voices that make the data come alive,” she said.