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.
Mapping Prejudice is working to create a map, demonstrating the presence of racial covenants in the Twin Cities. As St. Kate’s English professor Taiyon J. Coleman notes, we are looking 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. The goals of this work are to understand more clearly the experience of St. Paul surrounding housing inequality and the unique development and enforcement of housing segregation in Ramsey County between 1900 and 1968. It is a quest to explore racial covenants, in partnership with Mapping Prejudice, to show who was excluded from being a “dear neighbor” historically.
- Training community members to transcribe housing deeds to uncover racial covenants.
- Provide guest speakers to elaborate on the history of this project and offer comprehensive teaching on moving towards racial equity.
- Use this research to reveal concrete proof 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 in Ramsey County.
“For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady of the United States