Examining Camden and America's Cities

by Press Release-Rutgers-Camden | Nov 6, 2005
Examining Camden and America's Cities A new book by Dr. Howard Gillette (HADDONFIELD; professor, history and director, MARCH) combines in-depth analysis of the profound structural issues confronting urban America with the personal stories of Camden's current and past residents, resulting in the first comprehensive overview of this New Jersey city's struggle to grow, as well as the challenges facing postindustrial areas nationwide.

In "Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City" (University of Pennsylvania Press), Gillette challenges the popular perception that poor citizens create their own situation and offers a strategy for revitalization within a regional context.

"Camden is a city compromised by the loss of its industrial base," says Gillette, a professor of history at Rutgers-Camden, who notes that in the 1960s alone, Camden's manufacturing base declined by 48 percent. In that same time, 28,000 residents left the city, most in favor of the suburbs where jobs for skilled workers migrated.

Those interested in hearing Gillette read from his book should catch the historian during the Rutgers-Camden Cappuccino Academy lecture at Barnes & Noble in Marlton starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Gillette and a panel of national experts will consider challenges facing Camden and America's cities during a free conference, "Beyond the Post-Industrial City," at Rutgers-Camden on Friday, Nov. 18.

Sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Goodwin Foundation, and the Courier-Post, and presented by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden, the conference will feature comprehensive discussions on the legacy of decline, urban revitalization in the 21st century, and plans for the future. Participants include Camilo Jose Vergara, author of the book "How the Other Half Worships" and a noted photographer whose work has spotlighted the City of Camden; urban critic David Rusk; and Jeremy Novak of the Reinvestment Fund in Philadelphia; and 18 other presenters, including representatives of area organizations involved in Camden's recovery efforts.

Later that day, the inaugural Richard C. Goodwin Lecture will honor Ethel Lawrence, the original plaintiff in the Mount Laurel cases involving fair housing in New Jersey. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., the Goodwin Lecture will be presented by john a. powell, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. powell's talk is titled "Regional Equity: The Civil Rights Cause for the 21st Century," and will be followed by a free reception.

For more information, or to register for the "Beyond the Post-Industrial City" conference, call (856) 225-2725 or email camconf@camden.rutgers.edu. More information is online at http://march.rutgers.edu/conf.htm.

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Author: Press Release-Rutgers-Camden

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