Schools, Segregation, COVID

Just Economy Conference – May 11, 2021


When the country went on lockdown, schools and districts across the U.S. scrambled to pivot to virtual-only learning. The lack of resources to make that massive shift happen only amplified what many in education and community development already know — that even 65 years since Brown v. the Board of Education, America’s schools and neighborhoods are still segregated. The racial achievement gap has yet to be closed, zip codes are determinants of educational success and opportunity is isolated, at best. As many parents grappling with schooling during COVID may attest, the struggle between being a “good parent” and being a good citizen, is all too real.

Communities face difficult decisions and confront old patterns as they return to school planning. Rich, White schools and neighborhoods forge ahead in resources and opportunity, while Black and Brown schools and neighborhoods flounder.

Join this engaging, potentially uncomfortable panel discussion with community development professionals, education researchers and civil advocates experts on the fractured nature of neighborhoods and public education, promising efforts around integration and the role of community development in expanding opportunity as we navigate schooling in the pandemic and beyond.

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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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