Today's Oakwood Register features the following interview with Professor Jacqueline Housel, a member of the OIC Leadership Team, on her work creating the “Mapping Equity in Dayton” exhibit and bringing it to Wright Library. Dr. Housel has lived in Oakwood with her spouse Howard Sizek since 2003. Her three children Julia, Phil, and Herbert graduated from Oakwood High School. Dr. Housel just retired as a professor of geography and department chair at Sinclair Community College, and has further served the community through her work with the Dayton Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Caucus and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Dr. Housel will be guiding groups through the exhibit at an OIC-hosted open house on Tuesday September 6 from 6:30-8pm, on Thursday September 29 from 7-8:30pm, and by appointment.
Can you tell us a little about your work as a geographer and an educator and how
that led to the creation of this exhibit?
As a professor of geography, I strove to help students prepare for careers as
geographers, surveyors, GIS technicians, and aerial data analysts. I loved providing
students with transformative learning experiences that connected them to social and
cultural issues, and I always found it very valuable to get students involved in real, local
mapmaking projects like neighborhood walkability and economic studies and
environmental surveys with community partners. About a year ago, Sinclair’s Equity
Summit committee asked the geography department to create maps exploring the ways
that redlining continues to impact access to opportunity along racial lines in Dayton
today. The maps, created by Sinclair students, show how the effects of redlining still
impact communities in Dayton, from the unequal distribution of green spaces and
environmental hazards to health inequities.
What does the exhibit show?
The exhibit is a visual representation of how our society has taken an abstract
concept—that all humans are not created equal—and turned it into a concrete reality
through the policy and practice of redlining, which divided our communities along racial
lines by limiting access to financial resources and pathways to homeownership. The
maps show how today’s very real location-based differences in education, healthcare,
recreation, and access to nature match up with the redlining boundaries. This exhibit
brings the power of maps to bear on our understanding of how and why some of our
communities have more or fewer resources and opportunities than others.
Why are you looking forward to bringing this exhibit to Oakwood?
Well, I know that people in this community like to stay informed and are open to
dialogue about complex issues. As a geographer, my role is to introduce geography to
the community – geography is a lens for understanding social, political, economic, and
environmental inequities. The science of geography is all about collecting and analyzing
data, synthesizing and presenting information, and drawing evidence-based conclusions that help us understand the world around us and improve what could be better. I’m
looking forward to sharing the work of Sinclair students with the Oakwood community!