Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Chardonnay Beaver

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Autumn 2020

Research Project:  Operation Heal the CD

Project Description: Operation Heal the CD (OHT-CD) is an intergenerational, dialogue-based research project that classifies gentrification in the Central District (CD) of Seattle, WA as a form of grief for Black residents, and uses storytelling to aid healing and education. I hope to provide nuance to the research surrounding gentrification and concepts of home.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

Participating as a student in the Interrupting Privilege (with Dr. Ralina Joseph) seminar and now undergoing research with MA and PhD students has had an incredible impact on my outlook on education, race, and identity. Prior to joining the IP seminars and research team my college experience felt incomplete. I was a first-year, first-generation college student challenged with balancing the two realities of academia and being Black at a primarily white institution. As a mentor, Dr. Joseph came into my life at the right time. Not only did our experiences correlate, but her encouragement and guidance has been invaluable. My research topic derives from relevant concepts of home, space, and healing within Seattle’s Black community — my community — intersecting with the dialogue presented in IP’s seminars and methodology.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

First, just apply! Get out of your own way and apply.

Second, affirm that you are qualified. Undergraduate students, especially in the social sciences at UW, are exposed to different variations of research methods. Make sure your mentor and their work aligns with your interest.

Third, remember your “why”. Why are you doing this? Why do you care? Why do you want to answer this research question? Why do you want to be a Mary Gates Endowment Student?