Media gallery

Greenville: Revitalized or Gentrified? 
A Conversation about Prosperity and Disparity
CLP | 6:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center

Presented by the Riley Institute Advance Team

Over the past decade, Greenville has become a hub of growth with a vibrant food scene, an innovative business sector, and an expanding housing market. As Greenville has continued to grow, however, so has gentrification. Greenville is called home by people of varying races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and gentrification has altered some of these communities, forcing some residents from the places they have known for decades. To balance positive growth with the potentially destructive force of gentrification, the city must address three key issues: socio-economic factors, accessibility to housing, and a plan to make Greenville more inclusive.

On November 16, we examined these important local issues. Tina Belge manager of the Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition and advocacy and community engagement manager at the Greenville Housing Fund, set the stage for the conversation with a brief presentation on the history of gentrification in Greenville. Following this presentation, the director of Furman’s Center for Applied Sustainability Research, Mike Winiski, moderated a candid conversation with Tina Belge, Greenville Mayor Knox White, and Alan Mitchell, the president of the Nicholtown Neighborhood Association and representative for Greenville County Council District 23. The event concluded with an audience Q & A period.

About our speakers

Tina Belge

Tina Belge is the Advocacy and Community Engagement Manager at Greenville Housing Fund (GHF) where she advocates for policy change and fostering community around removing barriers to and increasing access to affordable housing. She also oversees the Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition, GHF’s collective impact group focused on cutting city and county affordable housing needs in half over the next ten years. As a former planner at both Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, she developed neighborhood plans and assisted as well as ran programs for individuals experiencing homelessness and living in substandard housing. She holds an MPA in Community and Economic Development from teh University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s in public relations from Georgia Southern University.

Mayor Knox White

Mayor Knox White has served on Greenville City Council since 1983 and as mayor since December 1995. A native of Greenville, he is a graduate of Christ Church Episcopal School and Greenville High School. He is a partner in the law firm of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, where he heads the firm’s immigration and customs practices. During his two decades as mayor, he has overseen neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and transformational projects for downtown including the removal of the Camperdown Bridge, the creation of Falls Park and the Liberty Bridge, development along the Reedy River, construction of a baseball stadium downtown, development of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and installation of public art. He holds a law degree from the University of South Carolina Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wake Forest University.

Alan Mitchell

Alan Mitchell holds a degree in architecture and has extensive experience in facility management, construction procurement and purchasing, construction management consulting, urban planning, FEMA and HUD inspections, photography, and finance. He is a native of Greenville and is seeking the County Council District 23 seat. Alan is currently appointed to the Greenville County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals, and is the President of the Nicholtown Neighborhood Association, Inc. (NNA). Prior to serving as the NNA President, he chaired the NNA Infrastructure Committee. Most recently, working with Habitat for Humanity and several other notable agencies, he helped to spearhead the development of 29 single family homes and 113 affordable apartment units in his community.

Mike Winiski

Mike Winiski, Director of the Center for Applied Sustainability Research (CASR) at Furman University’s Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities. The Center for Applied Sustainability Research (CARSR) is an interdisciplinary center focused on applied systems research projects aimed at creative solutions to promote healthier and more equitable communities, more sustainable and just economies, and more resilient built and natural systems. The center partners with community members and agencies to better understand and address issues such as affordable housing, residential segregation, transportation, and food insecurity. Mike specializes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data visualization. His course in GIS focuses on the interdisciplinary applications of spatial analysis and evaluating visualizations for effectiveness and bias. He holds master’s degrees in mapping/spatial analysis from Penn State University and science education from Wake Forest University. He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from Furman University.