Karilyn Crockett: Filling in the Gaps - Youth Contributions to the Study of Our History

THU, MAR 27, 2014 (31:23)

In 1995, ethnographic geographer Karilyn Crockett established MYTOWN, Inc.’ the Multicultural Youth Tour Of What’s Now, a Boston-based nonprofit which offered youth-led, historical walking tours in Boston neighborhoods. Inspired by the connection to place that she had experienced as a young Bostonian with family roots in West Virginia, Crockett partnered with Boston high school students to explore local archives and conduct oral histories, helping the students understand connections between the city’s history and their own lives. In this illustrated talk, Crockett shares highlights from her work with youth and the insights that she has gained from these young historians which inform her work today.

+ BIO: Dr. Karilyn Crockett

Dr. Karilyn Crockett focuses her research on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty. Karilyn’s new book “People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making” (UMASS Press 2018) investigates a 1960s era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the U.S. interstate highway system and the geographic and political changes in Boston that resulted. Karilyn was the co-founder of Multicultural Youth Tour of What’s Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, Boston-based, educational non-profit organization. MYTOWN hired public high school students to research their local and family histories to produce youth-led walking tours for sale to public audiences. During its nearly 15 years of operation, MYTOWN created jobs for more than 300 low and moderate-income teenagers, who in turn led public walking tours for more than 14,000 visitors and residents. In a White House ceremony, the National Endowment for the Humanities cited MYTOWN as “One of ten best Youth Humanities Programs in America.” Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. She currently serves as the Director of Economic Policy & Research and Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston and is a research affiliate in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at MIT. Karilyn’s career mission is to work at the nexus of education, economic development and urban revitalization.

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