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Leading Through the Pandemic: How Local Governments are Dismantling Barriers to Economic Mobility

Just Economy Conference – May 6, 2021

COVID-19 exacerbated the health and economic wealth gaps that we already knew persisted from decades of redlining and other discriminatory policies that have created hyper-segregated communities with concentrated poverty. Local governments were challenged with identifying revitalization strategies to address barriers to economic mobility with increased attention placed on the intersection of gender, race, health and poverty. This session will focus on how local government professionals are leading through the pandemic while shifting priorities to place equity front and center in their recovery efforts.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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