Gentrification heads north: Harlem's rich people problem, and how STEM education can solve it

Silicon Harlem's Clayton Banks explains Harlem's unique gentrification that's "not one ethnicity replacing another"

Published August 9, 2016 3:52PM (EDT)

Salon's Carrie Sheffield sat down with Silicon Harlem founder Clayton Banks on Monday for a Facebook Live discussion about the unique gentrification infecting Manhattan's northern neighbor.

"Harlem has always been multicultural," and so too has been the gentrification taking place there, Banks explained. "It's not one culture replacing another. It's not one ethnicity replacing another."

Gentrification in Harlem is, instead, characterized by income inequality, he said. "You have people moving into Harlem that are doing well and are having a good run economically, so those who cannot afford the neighborhood anymore are being pushed out."

The solution, which Silicon Harlem aims to provide, is to make mixed-income neighborhoods feasible through "tech and innovation."

"We're trying to foster young people into STEM education that will lead to STEM-oriented careers," Banks continued. "We have to make sure that [kids in Harlem] are given the skills to get out there and get a good job. And that leads to a positive community."

Watch above.


By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

MORE FROM Brendan Gauthier