Atlanta Nonprofit Gentrispot is Teaching Communities about Gentifrication and How to Not Get Lost in the Process

The Purpose of Gentrispot

The word gentrification is still pretty new in terms of understanding what it truly is and all of its effects. As new development encourages growth in a neighborhood, it also changes the dynamic of that neighborhood, which affects those living there, good or bad. Atlanta native Zuri Mabry started her nonprofit Gentrispot to help her community, specifically Black and Brown individuals, take back their power against gentrification through education.

Since 2019, Mabry has been in construction as an engineer where she’s witnessed firsthand the disparities from people who weren’t benefiting from projects being built in their neighborhoods. Through Gentrispot, Mabry serves as a consultant to people who bring these properties to neighborhoods, where she helps them focus on what the neighborhood really needs before they start developing.

Zuri Mabry of Gentrispot.
Zuri Mabry of Gentrispot. (Picture provided by Gentrispot)

For example, a lot of neighborhoods in Atlanta are food deserts so a suggestion Mabry has for this is adding grocery stores. Yet, on the flip side, she is also an advocate for the residents. She helps them understand how they can benefit from the new development, such as investing in it.

Mabry’s goal is to explain the pros and cons of gentrification so residents can have a fair chance at being on the benefiting side. She said she’s using her construction expertise and urban planners to strategically and professionally help plan neighborhoods.

Once Gentrispot is brought onto a project as a consultant, Mabry holds focus groups to directly hear from the residents about their wants and needs, while also utilizing data from urban heat maps.

First Civic-Community Focused Block Party

Earlier this month, Gentrispot hosted its first Invisible Lines Rent is Due Block Party that focused on civic-community engagement. Mabry said the event had a 100% sign-up rate.

“I thought Atlanta needed an event with fun…and civic discourse…[because] you have to start the conversations, but you have to make it digestible.”

– Zuri Mabry

The block party featured two guest speakers that provided a deeper dive into gentrification.

Marian Davis, a program coordinator for the Atlanta BeltLine, spoke on the Beltline’s Legacy Resident Retention Program (LRRP) that’s offered to Atlanta residents. According to the Beltline’s site, LRRP is a resource to help longtime homeowners living in Atlanta BeltLine equity priority subareas in the westside and southside neighborhoods stay in their homes by covering the costs of increases in property taxes through the 2030 tax year.

King Williams, who has reported on gentrification in Atlanta for over 15 years, was also a guest speaker. He spoke on what gentrification is, what it has looked like in the past for Atlanta, and what Atlanta has to look forward to. 

“The vision was to provide an event and space for Atlanta residents to gather with food, music, fun, and conversation pieces regarding the current state of the many effects gentrification has on Atlanta,” said Mabry.

Expanding the Team

Gentrispot is open to anyone willing to be a part of the journey. Mabry is welcome to everyone but is specifically looking for help from those who have experience in urban planning, city planning, and consulting.

For anyone interested in partnering, visit Gentrispot’s Instagram.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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