Who We Are & What We Do
We are an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, students, and community members. We began this work in collaboration with Mapping Prejudice.
To understand more clearly the experiences surrounding housing inequality, segregation, and racism and the unique development and enforcement of housing segregation in Minnesota.
To explore housing inequality, segregation, and racism in the past and present and its impacts today
Starting in 2017, St. Catherine University, through the Center for Community Work and Learning, partnered with the Mapping Prejudice project so that students across the university could learn about issues of racism in housing and participate in examining Hennepin County deeds for racial covenants. It soon became clear that Ramsey County should be the next area to explore.
The work of Mapping Prejudice to create a map showing the presence of racial covenants. In the words of Taiyon J. Coleman, associate professor of English at St. Kate’s, our work is to “humanize the map,” by understanding the context of housing inequality in Ramsey County through telling stories about our history and providing opportunities to amplify stories that exist in our community.
Behind the Name
The “Dear Neighbor” is a phrase with a long history and deep spirituality rooted in the charisms of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs). The recent Consensus Statement of the Sisters of St. Joseph professes moving always towards the “profound love of God and the love of neighbor without distinction.” In light of Catholic Social Teaching’s preferential option for the poor, “dear neighbor” also encompasses deep social commitments and communion especially with our “dear neighbors” who are most vulnerable and marginalized by interlocking systems of oppression and whose voices go tragically unheard or heeded.
The title of our project asks us to consider a variety of questions: did we welcome the dear neighbor in Ramsey County regardless of race in the past? How have we demonstrated care for our dear neighbor in Ramsey County regardless of race in the present? If we didn’t welcome the dear neighbor historically, what do we do about this in the present?
How do we get there?
- Partner with Mapping Prejudice to train community members to transcribe housing deeds to uncover racial covenants.
- Provide speakers to share what we are learning to help further inform community members.
- Use this research to reveal evidence of housing discrimination in the Twin Cities.
- Educate and equip community members to become more informed citizens to create more equitable policies and systems around housing inRamsey County.
This project has been made possible with funding from the following sources.
2020 Legacy Grant from the MN Historical Society and Cultural Fund
St. Catherine University including Academic Professional Development Committee Grants & other University support.
Assistantship Mentoring Program and Community Leaders Program, Community Work and Learning funding for student work.