Black News Hour: Meet Beyazmin Jiménez, activist, writer, and creative
Jiménez talks housing, reparations, and travel
With the first-ever How to Boston While Black Summit underway, Black News Hour has contemplated the many challenges and circumstances that make planting roots in this city a challenge for our community. Boston’s housing crisis isn’t an exception.
We spoke with Beyazmin Jiménez, a housing activist, writer, and creative for this week’s spotlight. Some of her current titles include co-founder and president of Abundant Housing Massachusetts, senior account director for The Lazu Group, and a member of Mayor Michelle Wu’s rent stabilization advisory committee. Jiménez discussed the role housing plays in making or breaking the Boston experience for Black residents.
BG: What led you to your current work as a housing advocate?
BJ: I would say definitely my lived experience. I’m a first-generation immigrant. My mother and I spent plenty of days at housing court, where she would receive a notice in English, and she didn’t know how to read it. And she was just tuck it under her bed because she was just nervous that it was a super-official letter. And next thing, you know, we’d have marshals at our door asking us to move. So I grew up getting evicted from her house to house; my mother is someone that also suffers from a lot of mental health issues. And I think that only exasperated her condition because of our housing instability. So think it’s something that I definitely thought about the older I got. This was something that always interested me … so I immediately got into policy. I did my Master’s in urban planning. I literally just wanted to figure out the nuts and bolts of housing and how it fits into the rest of our daily lives.