Mapping Memory

Dianna, Ji Young, Temple
Team 11

_r4a9625cmu_conf_2Activity Debrief

After our online research over the past couple weeks and the two visits to Hazelwood, something that came up repeatedly was how there used to be a lot of businesses within the community. A “we had everything” message. These businesses employed neighborhood folk, and gave people (adults and children) places to go and spend time together. In our memory mapping activity, we hoped to see what used to be here, and what parts of Hazelwood helped shape their memory of the place. What memories help define Hazelwood? We expected there to be 2 – 3 people per group, and thought it’d be interesting to see the overlapping and interconnectedness of everyone’s memories. In the activity itself, we only managed to talk to 2 women, but the map helped us identify what people considered to be “Hazelwood”, and learned about different landmarks. Through the card activity, we hoped to get our participants to open up, and if they seemed hesitant, we ourselves would share stories too.

Activity Day
We started off with the “Talk with Me” card exercise given to us during class, & then moved onto a mapping of landmarks and memories.


  • Doesn’t like the “Death” card. “There’s too much of it these days. We used to fight, and 2 days later you’re friends again. Somebody might be missing a tooth or have a black eye, or every once in a while you would hear someone got cut (but not to the death). Now, you just bam bam.”
  • Shooters / victims often take the fight to their families. As revenge, they might “shoot up their families”. Carol’s grandson (& nephews) isn’t allowed to come up to Hazelwood where Carol lives because it’s territorial, and the fight is generational, making it unsafe for him.
  • Carol is friends with (& went to school with) the father of the man that allegedly shot her son. They still talk, but don’t talk about the death
  • Pointed at Elizabeth street, referred to as“Across the Tracks”, where she said they were told as children to not cross that bridge (Italians lived on the other side) no matter what.
  • Part of the marching Dynamics – a jitterbug drill team! She learned to dance at the different rec centers available at that time.
  • Hung out at the YMCA, partied at St. Stevens in their halls, got ice cream from Isaly’s after Easter, watched shows at Theaters on 2nd Ave, did arts & crafts after school, there was a bowling alley, and loved going to school at Gladstone. She watched a lot of her boyfriend’s basketball games, and went with him all over Hazelwood for those games.

Mrs. Barbara

  • Loss = my 2 childen that were killed, Love = god, Fear = children today with the guns, Family = when my mom died, the (15) kids weren’t as together. When someone dies, we come back together but it’s not connected like before.
  • Back then there was no access to guns. These days, a car drives around with guns in the back, & if you have enough money you can buy. “Beware of people in high places” – The government / police KNOW about the drugs & guns but they don’t do anything because they get money. (bribes) Back then, the police knew everybody’s families, & walked around. But now they just drive around in their cars & assume you have a weapon
  • “The bible says seek, and god is love, which will teach you how to love yourself, and then you can love other people”
  • Back then, everyone worked in the mills, but now everyone is going separate ways (even adults are not bonding like before)
  • There’s nothing for the kids to do, they closed “the y”, the swimming pool they turned into a shire for the little kids, we need a pool for kids to go after school
  • Mrs. Barbara goes to senior centers (on 2nd ave in Glenwood, & in Glenhazel) everyday to get out of the house. She plays games, has bingo night, on Wednesdays goes out to lunch with other seniors, etc


  • Children being bused to different school districts separates groups of kids and creates fractures where rivalries can form.
  • Barbra suggests community centers (or other gathering spaces) could help bring the kids back (they can go hang out there), & tell parents the benefits of sending kids to these places
  • Helping to rebuild the bond between law enforcement and community members can help women in the community feel more emboldened to act on what’s right (mutual trust)
  • We can help make it easier for women in the community to talk about the issues (anonymously, or in a safe way) and foster an openness. (ie. sheila didn’t open up about needing someone, carol doesn’t like talking about the killings) We think pointing the finger might make the women feel unsafe, causing revenge

Next Steps

  • Mrs. Barbara mentioned that she wants to bring out more women from the senior centers. She feels that more community members would be engaged if they knew what the conversation was about.
  • Talk to current mothers to understand their experiences raising children in Hazlewood (compared to the perception of the older women we interviewed,
  • Get insight into how younger women feel about the situation (they grew up in the new Hazelwood)
  • Understand how schools are teaching / talking about this problem in Hazelwood.
  • Talk to kids directly to understand what they want / their needs / their perceptions (changing times reflect changing needs)

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