2022 Fall Lecture Series: Lydia Lowe
Justice at the Intersection of Preservation and Resilience
August 16, 2022
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Chinatown is a neighborhood and cultural community center, rooted in a history of exclusion and racial violence, that has anchored generations of immigrant working-class families for nearly two centuries. Today, Chinatown is struggling with gentrification, climate threats, and economic instability. Our definition of community preservation and resilience must consistently center justice.
Lydia Lowe is the executive director of the Chinatown Community Land Trust and has spent 35 years organizing for civil rights, worker rights, preservation of affordable housing, and community empowerment in Boston Chinatown. Recently, she has initiated efforts to preserve Chinatown's 19th-century brick row houses as permanently affordable housing, to create a Row House Protection Area in the neighborhood zoning code, and designate Chinatown as both a Historic and a Cultural District. She has participated in more than a decade of community-based participatory research on traffic-related air pollution and health and led the community-based Chinatown Master Plan 2020 to develop a vision of a healthy community in the areas of housing, mobility, public realm, cultural and historic preservation, and environmental justice. Lydia serves on the Community Advisory Board of UMass/Boston's Institute for Asian American Studies, the Friends of the Chinatown Library, and the Governor's Environmental Justice Council.