Can real estate agents promote diversity? We recently partnered with the National Association of Realtors on a project to educate agents about their capacity to promote diverse schools and communities. Our project, “How Real Estate Agents Can (and Should) Promote Diverse Schools,” includes an overview of the benefits of school diversity for real estate professionals, a training outline on how to talk about schools with real estate clients, and a new video profile of the successful Pasadena program that brings real estate professionals into the local public schools.
A new U.S. racial justice report to the U.N. with some notable omissions: After 4 years of open defiance of our UN treaty obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the U.S. has submitted its periodic report to the UN in response to the U.N.’s comprehensive 2014 “Concluding Observations” on U.S. compliance with the treaty. The report provides an impressive catalogue of all the steps the new administration has taken to begin to address racial discrimination and structural racism, which is a good reminder of how far we have come in a few short months. Unfortunately, however, the report falls short in several key ways – including the rejection of the CERD Committee’s call for a national human rights institution and a national CERD plan of action. The U.S. report also falls short on two key issues that we testified on in 2014, which were part of the UN Concluding Observations: In response to the Committee’s call for the US to “intensify its efforts to eliminate discrimination in access to housing and residential segregation,” the U.S. report makes no mention of the federal government’s continuing contribution to racial and economic segregation in its own housing programs. And in response to the Committee’s charge that the U.S. take aggressive steps to address school segregation and support diversity, the US report has almost nothing to say. Fortunately, the U.S. will not be meeting with the CERD Committee until next year, so we hope there will be time to amend and strengthen the report, with input from the US Human Rights Network and other civil society groups.
AFFH advances: HUD took the first step last week toward the eventual restoration of a meaningful Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule by replacing the Trump Administration’s distorted interpretation of fair housing with the original definition of AFFH and requiring (once again) all HUD grantees to certify their compliance with the AFFH obligation. We hope to see further progress later this year.
Other resources and webinars
Expanding the magnet school option: In a new report from the Learning Policy Institute, Advancing Integration and Equity Through Magnet Schools, authors Janel George and Linda Darling-Hammond examine magnet schools as a compelling evidence-based option for promoting school diversity and positive student outcomes in the context of widening school segregation.
The Roots of Structural Racism: Residential Segregation in the U.S. – tune in next Tuesday, June 22, 9am-12pm PT / 12pm-3pm ET, for a half-day forum with fair housing advocates and leading race and housing scholars from across the United States for the unveiling of “The Roots of Structural Racism,“ a new project from the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley which details how widespread and harmful racial residential segregation remains today, why it matters, who it impacts, and what can be done to reverse this dangerous trend and promote integration. Register here.
“A brief history of subordination”: Alden Loury (Senior Editor—Race, Class and Communities Desk, WBEZ Chicago) and Alexander Polikoff will be holding a virtual book conversation on June 23, 2021, 11:00 am CDT, on A Brief History of the Subordination of African Americans in the U.S.: Of Handcuffs and Bootstraps by Alexander Polikoff and Elizabeth Lassar. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, and organization to receive a link to the conversation.
Community housing acquisition and control: Watch this recorded webinar from PolicyLink explaining and illustrating their recent report on strategies for community acquisition of housing.
Financing Racial Equity: Developing Affordable Housing in High-Opportunity Suburbs: Watch this recorded webinar from the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders for a pretty inspiring story of non-profit development struggles in high-opportunity areas.