Gentrification and You!

Desmonde Shalom Monroe, President & CEO
Desmonde Shalom Monroe, President & CEO

Gentrification is spreading like wild fire cross country, mainly in traditionally black areas. Gentrification is merely a euphemism for displacement and ethnic cleansing. There are several groups combating this situation.  One of these groups is The Monroe Group, LLC headed by its CEO, Desmond Monroe, who is taking an economic development approach to combat this problem.

The Monroe Group is a consulting firm and a certified vendor with the United Nations in their Disaster Reduction Program. They advise small, midsize, large organizations, nonprofits and governmental agencies seeking subject matter experts in program management, compliance, disaster recovery training and strategic planning.

Monroe said, “Climate change has caused mass displacement and migration.  There’s a need for someone to address these issues.  We fit into this situation as managers and builders.”  Monroe was asked how “disaster reduction” relates to gentrification, and given a hypothetical situation where a long-time home owner needed home repairs.  Monroe said that they would draft a program which would give information such as is your investment going to be safe (in this case, your investment is your home) or, do you need to evacuate.  That would be your decision.

Monroe went on to say that his personal passion is to help under served minority and women businesses. As an example, he cited LaGuardia Airport’s Delta terminal constructing a $100,000,000 project.  They are making an effort to reach black and brown women for everything from bath tissue, light fixtures, carpeting and much more.  Monroe added, “This group is often excluded from these contracts because they don’t know that New York City procures for everything – for chairs, for design for everything.  That education needs to be put into our communities.  There are all types of things going on that other communities are privy to and take advantage of to become vendors.”

Part of the reason there is such a low number of minority vendors is that they require certification.  Desmonde Monroe is biracial, and appreciates how his Jewish parent’s community circulates their dollars numerous times before leaving their community.  Monroe wants to bring this same culture to the black community.  Through various government programs at his disposal, he can direct the under served community to organizations who can assist persons seeking to certify an existing business or start a new one.  Many of these organizations offer services free of charge.

Here’s another example of the type of money that can be tapped into.  In 2017, $300,000,000 was available in disaster recovery funding.  “M/WBE (Minority/Women Business Enterprise), Section 3, a workforce development component had that money tied to community development.  “It’s all about using this money for economic stimulation within the black and brown communities” Monroe said.  This is not affirmative action.  In 1969 minority set-asides were signed by President Nixon and endorsed by Regan – two Republicans.  Monroe said “They saw that minority and women-owned businesses are the life blood of America.”

Do you know the amount of people who develop products right in their kitchens and don’t know about M/WBE?” Desmond asked.  This is my passion – it’s even in my business plan.  Get this information out to the black and brown community.”

Another source of funding to combat gentrification is a program developed by HUD, The Community Development Program, to correct blight and establish social programs in marginalized communities.

Much of Monroe’s knowledge of government disaster funding came after Hurricane Sandy when he secured a position in Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery.  This was after turning the position down three times, and was offered an ultimatum to accept it or don’t come back!  He said his life changed from that point on.

Hurricane Sandy was the largest disaster recovery in U.S. history.  He started as an analyst and eventually became the Executive Project Manager to the Deputy Executive Director, Latoya Murphy, who was the Executive Secretariat in the Obama Administration.

If you or someone you know are considering becoming a business owner and need more information, please contact Desmonde Monroe at 929-202-4271,  For press releases and other related issues, contact Deja at 347-721-4414,



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