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Free The Deeds Uses Public Art To Expose Racial Covenants

Free the Deeds -- co-directed by  Lacey Prpić Hedtke, Miré Regulus, and Diver Van Avery -- is using lawn signs to expose racial covenants. Working with artist stowe silver, this group created a series of signs that are meant to connect individual properties to this history. They hope these lawn signs generate reflection on the history of housing practices in Minneapolis, and work to normalize conversations on reparations. Read more about their work here.


Minneapolis Artists Confront The Legacies Of Racist Housing Deeds

MPR highlighted how  Free the Deeds is using artist-designed lawn signs to raise awareness about racial covenants. This radio segment included the voices of homeowners who are using the signs as neighborhood  conversation starters. Money generated by the lawn signs will go to the African American Community Land Trust. To learn more, click here.

The Case for Education-Centric Reparations

Preston Green III and Bruce Baker have been researching racial disparities in education for decades. This work prompted them to conclude that any program of reparations must include school reform. They argue that equity will require significant changes in the ways that “Black homeowners are taxed and schools in Black communities are funded.” Their scholarship underscores the way that racist housing practices like redlining and racial covenants provided the foundation for inequities in other sectors, especially education. Read more about the policies they believe will begin to repair the harm done over the last century. 

Green Space, White Space: Urban Green Space And Racial Restrictions

Rebecca Walker, a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota,  shared her research illuminating the connection between racial covenants and the Minneapolis park system at the recent Thinking Spatially Symposium at the University of Minnesota. Walker has documented the history of collaboration between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and real estate developers during the early twentieth century. She explained during her presentation--which is available on the website of the IAS--how ideas about “white space” and “green space” converged to create the modern Minneapolis landscape. Walker’s work on Minneapolis fits into a larger scholarly conversation around the green space paradox.

Upcoming Events

Human Toll Exhibit At Hennepin History Museum

HUMAN TOLL: A Public History of 35W opened September 30th at the Hennepin History Museum. This exhibit documents the destruction of Black communities by highways, while also highlighting community resilience and resistance. Human Toll highlights the experiences of Black residents in South Minneapolis, sharing their stories of displacement, housing discrimination and environmental racism. This exhibit was developed by students and faculty in the Heritage Studies and Public History program at the University of Minnesota in conjunction with a diverse team of South Minneapolis community members and advisors. The past is never past, of course. This exhibit speaks to the importance of a new federal proposal--the Reconnecting Communities Initiative--which would provide funding to remove or retrofit federal highways that have divided communities of color.

Event Details:
Exhibit Dates: September 30, 2021 - October 1, 2022

Adults $8
Students/Seniors $5
Free for HHM Members

Event Link:
IAS Thursdays | Building An Abolitionist University: What Will It Take To Free Higher Education From Its Current Conditions?

On Thursday, October 28th at 3:30pm CDT, the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) will host an online roundtable event featuring Professor Davarian L. Baldwin, who will be sharing insights from his new book, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering our Cities. Baldwin will explain how universities are influencing urban life, shaping labor practices and housing. This event is virtual, free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

Event Details:
Oct 28, 2021
3:30-5pm CDT
Registration requested

Event Link:
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