Kinder Institute Forum: Richard Rothstein

Feb 13, 2019
7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet Street

Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein, an accomplished scholar of education and housing policy and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, discusses how laws and policies at the federal, state and local levels have promoted and enforced the residential racial segregation that exists today.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will be selling Rothstein's book, "The Color of Law," on-site. A book signing will follow the program.

Combining legal research and human stories, Richard Rothstein’s book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” shows how America’s cities came to be racially divided through de jure (explicit laws enacted by governments), not de facto (individual prejudices, income differences or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies) segregation. Rothstein demonstrates the impact of this government push for segregation and offers strategies on how to correct these injustices.

Government-created residential segregation is at the heart of a number of inequities, argued Richard Rothstein, a scholar of education and housing policy and distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute. Rothstein pointed to past laws that boosted white homeownership, segregated neighborhoods, and ultimately denied generations of blacks the right to raise and educate their children in areas where they were more likely to succeed. Today, while the average black income is about 60% of the average white income, white families have roughly 10 times as much wealth as black families. “We need to develop the new civil rights movement,” said Rothstein. “We must demand policy changes. The segregation that we have created is responsible for the most serious social problems we face in this country.”

About Richard Rothstein

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,” which recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of “Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right” (2008); “Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap” (2004); and “The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement” (1998). Other recent books include “The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement” (co-authored in 2005); and “All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different?” (co-authored in 2003).

About Kinder Institute Forum

The Kinder Institute Forum lecture series brings thought leaders from around the world to Houston to share ideas about the most pressing urban issues facing us today. Previous KI Forum speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond, global urbanist Richard Florida, and Kresge Foundation senior fellow Carol Coletta.

CenterPoint Energy is the title sponsor of the Kinder Institute Forum series. This program is eligible for 1.5 CM credits from the American Planning Association.

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Government-created residential segregation is at the heart of a number of inequities. And the country is obligated to enact remedies, argues Richard Rothstein.

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