Category: Racial Equity

America’s Fastest Growing Cities Are Becoming More Diverse, But Face Rising Inequity

Ninety-eight percent of growth in the hundred largest cities since 2000 was from growth in minority populations. A Brookings Institution analysis of the 2011- 2015 American Community Survey found that despite this increased diversity in cities, racial segregation has only moderately declined. Dominantly white neighborhoods in cities were 79 percent white in 2000 and 72

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Reversing the Residual Effects of Redlining

A process beginning in the 1930s, redlining describes how banks and government agencies discriminated by race in determinations for federally-backed mortgages. At the March Congressional City Conference, local leaders used redlining maps of Baltimore and Muskegon, Mich. to examine the intersection between racial equity and affordable housing. “Housing is a key priority for NLC and

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How Detroit Created a Green Oasis in the Middle of Motor City

Three years ago, the first Detroit Outdoors campers in Scout Hollow admired a pair of Red Tail Hawk parents feeding their chick nestled in a huge nest perched in a tall Sycamore Tree. The hawks’ vantage point gave them a commanding view of the 5-acre meadow and Detroit’s only campground, which had been unused for

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Rochester Commits to Racial Equity

On January 22, 2019, Mayor Lovely Warren gathered with the National League of Cities Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) Director Leon Andrews, former mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Betsy Hodges, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to commit the City of Rochester’s time and resources to a new racial equity initiative. Mayor Warren issued a

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How Baltimore is Advancing Racial Equity: Policy, Practice & Procedure

During 2018, our nation saw issues of race and justice take center stage in ways and with a frequency not seen in some time. We saw race baiting used in policy, practice, and procedural debates across the country, from immigration and border security to policing. As we celebrate the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin

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This MLK Day, Cities Transform Hurt Into Healing

As we take the weekend to commemorate the life’s work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cities around the country are deep into building new ways to think about racial healing and racial equity, and how to bring this conversation to a broader set of communities and institutions. Many in our nation have a

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One Small City’s Big Steps to Undo Systemic Racism

The Village of Park Forest, Illinois was established in 1948 to house military veterans as the nation’s first planned community after World War II. Park Forest was initially designed as one of the few communities without restrictive covenants by religion. Building on that ten-year tradition, Park Forest was racially desegregated in 1959 when the first African-American

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How Cities Are Creating Opportunities for Racial Healing

2018 has been a critical year for the National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) initiative. REAL supports cities developing opportunities for racial healing through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded project on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. Our cross-site convening in October brought together six city teams to learn from the unique work

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Minneapolis Makes a Bold Move on Housing

Longstanding inequities in housing policy can be addressed. And it’s no surprise to us that cities are doing it first. The city of Minneapolis just passed a sweeping zoning code change that will eliminate single family housing. This is the first time a large city has made such a move in its zoning code. Many in

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