community conversations

Community Conversations: Redlining Exhibit Goes Virtual

Live City Hall Exhibit from last year goes virtual because of COVID-19 pandemic

NBCUniversal, Inc.

'Undesign the RedLine', an exhibit that drew attention in the Dallas City Hall lobby last year, is going virtual for a return engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A link to sign up for the tours is here.

Three virtual tours are available on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The exhibit explores the lasting effects of the practice called 'redlining' that dates back to the 1930’s. 

The Homeowners Loan Corporation, a federal agency that no longer exists, published maps with red areas that were considered fourth grade, or hazardous for lenders.

These also happened to be neighborhood inhabited by people of color.  

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed the practice but many neighborhoods that suffered from the government sanctioned disinvestment still show the signs of it today.

Braden Crooks with Design the WE in New York, City is a co-creator of 'Undrawing the Red Line', which has been exhibited in several other cities where redlining occurred.

“You’ll see lower property values, blight, abandonment. And then other neighborhoods that were redlined back in the 1930’s have today had real estate speculation, have been flipped and gentrified. So those are kind of the two situations that we often see. And part of undesigning red line is, what’s the third way of bringing new investment into communities that really benefits everybody,” Crooks said.

Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas first invited the exhibit to Dallas to draw attention to the lingering effects in certain parts of the city.

Thomas said solutions call for equity versus the recent past approach of equality that still leaves some places in the same unequal position.

“You have to make amends for the unequal distribution of resources, the historical, intentional, unequal distribution of resources. And that’s where we begin the conversation of equity. I’m proud to say in this City of Dallas budget that we just approved, that we used the racial equity lens, for the first time ever in the City of Dallas,” Thomas said.

Lindsey Wilson is the Interim Equity Officer for the City of Dallas. She holds a position that did not exist in the recent past.

“Our mission is to help shape a city government in Dallas where everyone has an opportunity to thrive,” Wilson said.

Her office is sponsoring the Redesign the Red Line exhibit, along with other equity promotions.

“We are virtual this time but we certainly look at this as an opportunity to continue the discussion,” Wilson said.

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