The Color of Los Angeles: The Legacy of Segregation and Future of Social Equity

Friday, May 18, 2018

Los Angeles has long been considered a land of opportunity for many. But it has also been a land of oppression. As documented by Richard Rothstein in his recent book The Color of Law, Los Angeles was one of the many cities across the country that engaged, formally and informally, in residential segregation. Abominations like red-lining, restrictive covenants, and other discriminatory practices shaped the urban landscape we live in today.

As accounts like Rothstein's make Angelenos become more aware of the city's dark history, including the forceful role of the federal government in promoting segregation, the question becomes: How exactly do policies of 50 or 60 years ago manifest themselves today? What obligation and opportunities to do present-day planners, lenders, developers, and community members have to un-do this legacy and promote social equity? How can formerly red-lined neighborhoods prosper, and how can exclusionary neighborhoods embrace socioeconomic and ethnic diversity? These are the important issues that we will explore this month at WUF.

Chancela Al-Mansour, Executive Director, Housing Rights Center
Vanessa Carter
, Senior Data Analyst and Writing Specialist, USC Program for Regional & Environmental Equity
Gilda Haas, co-founder, Right to the City Alliance
Elizabeth Ryan Murray, Project Director, CarsonWatch at Public Advocates

Christopher West, Asst. Professor of Social Sciences, Pasadena City College