In the book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, author Richard Rothstein documents how American cities became racially divided as federal, state, and local governments systematically imposed residential segregation using tactics like:
  • Undisguised racial zoning
  • Public housing that segregated previously mixed communities
  • Subsidies for builders to create white-only suburbs
Following the author’s presentation, national and regional thought leaders address the prevailing atmosphere and possible solutions to end racial inequality and poverty in housing. The panel includes:
 

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow, emeritus, at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America (2017). The book recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogeneous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004).

Maurice A. Jones took the helm as the fourth President & CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in September 2016. Immediately prior to joining LISC, he served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he managed 13 state agencies focused on the economic needs in his native state. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing operations for the agency and its 8,900 staff members. Prior to that, he was commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. Trained as an attorney, Maurice worked during the Clinton Administration on legal, policy and program issues at the Treasury Department, where he also helped manage a then-new initiative called the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund—a federal program that has grown to be a critical supporter of nonprofits that leverage its capital to bolster their communities.

KT Tobin is Associate Director of the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz, and is focused on projects about regional issues and concerns. Prior to returning to SUNY New Paltz in 2008, she was the Assistant Director at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Tobin holds an M.S. in Social Research from CUNY Hunter and a Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Albany. Her dissertation research, titled “Gender: Impacts on Participation in Local Government,” studies elected women in the Mid-Hudson region. Tobin currently serves on the SUNY New Paltz Economic Impact research team. In the community, Tobin currently serves as Deputy Mayor of the Village of New Paltz, and served on the Village Affordable Housing Board.

Lorraine Y. Collins is Director of Public Policy and External Affairs at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. in New York. Lorraine is responsible for working with the office’s Executive Team and Program Leaders to build and effectively execute a public-policy strategy to address affordable housing and community development issues across the New York Market. Lorraine also oversees the Office’s advocacy and lobbying activities, as well as its communications function. Prior to joining Enterprise, Lorraine spent over a decade in NYS government working on affordable housing policy at NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the Division of Budget. Lorraine played a critical role in the State’s fair housing planning efforts by launching HCR’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office.  Additionally, at HCR Lorraine served as a Regional Director and Policy Advisor, leading efforts to address affordable housing and community development needs in areas such as health and housing, resilience, education, and employment inequalities. Lorraine also had a five-year career in the private sector, working as a financial analyst at Carrier Corporation. Lorraine received her BBA in Accounting from Howard University and her MBA and MPA from Syracuse University.

Moderator Rutledge Simmons is Executive Vice President, General Counsel/Secretary of NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit providing technical and financial assistance to a network of community development organizations. He has served as Chair of an ABA Committee on Community Economic Development, a member of the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, and on the boards of nonprofits combating homelessness. He is interested in new ways to foster comprehensive community development via social enterprises and public/private partnerships. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School.  

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