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When Research Meets Policy: Public History, Planning, and Structural Racism in the City
March 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In this lecture, public historian Kirsten Delegard and city planner Heather Worthington discuss how their respective projects — each of which attempts to address the effects of racial discrimination in Minneapolis — have influenced each other.
The Minneapolis City Council recently passed Minneapolis 2040 (minneapolis2040.com), an ambitious and controversial set of guidelines for future development. Worthington was the lead architect of the plan, at the heart of which are policies to attack the city’s acute and long-standing racial inequalities in housing. Development of this plan called for a better historical understanding of the city’s structural racism in housing, a project being undertaken by the public history initiative Mapping Prejudice (mappingprejudice.org).
A key component of the 2040 plan allows for multi-unit housing in what have been exclusively single-family housing neighborhoods. Proponents of 2040 argue that these exclusions have both limited the supply of affordable housing and perpetuated patterns of racial exclusion set in place earlier by racially exclusive covenants, along with lending and other housing policies. Mapping Prejudice’s goal is to make a key dimension of this skewed development visible, by generating a map of all racial covenants recorded in Hennepin County deeds during the 20th century. In this presentation and discussion, Delegard and Worthington will describe their work and reflect on how Mapping Prejudice and Minneapolis 2040 have informed one another, examining the productive interplay between public scholarship and policy.