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The Color of Law: Government Policy and Racial Segregation

December 1 @ 5:30 pm 7:00 pm

The Color of Law - Richard Rothstein


1.5 LU/HSW


5:30pm – 7 pm


Free for AIA members, affiliate members & non-members

$25 for non-members seeking certificate

Program Description

*Zoom* The Color of Law: Government Policy and Racial Segregation

AIA Cincinnati’s Urban Design Committee and ULI Cincinnati’s Real Estate Accelerator Lab will host celebrated author Richard Rothstein in a virtual discussion of his book The Color of Law.

Rothstein’s work explores the government policies that encouraged residential segregation in American cities and their continued impact on our urban communities.

“We have created a caste system in this country, with African-Americans kept exploited and geographically separate by racially explicit government policies,” Rothstein writes. “Although most of these policies are now off the books, they have never been remedied and their effects endure.”

In 2011 and 2015 studies, the greater Cincinnati region was among the ten most segregated cities in America, joining Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, and Boston, demonstrating the devastating impact of government policies in spreading segregation outside of the south.

Joining Rothstein in this program are two local experts to discuss the impact of racist housing policies in greater Cincinnati. Fritz Casey-Leininger, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emeritus in the University of Cincinnati Department of History, will provide an overview of how government policies affected 20th century residential development in Cincinnati. Alona Ballard, Education Outreach Manager for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati, explores current efforts to undo these destructive policies.

Advance registration required. Register before 5pm on November 30 to receive Zoom info.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the historical factors and government policies that created segregated neighborhoods in American cities.
  • Learn how segregation negatively impacted the physical, emotional, and social well-being of African American communities across the country and specifically in greater Cincinnati.
  • Understand how governmental laws, regulations and policies have led to disinvestment in segregated communities which has negatively impacted the health, safety, and welfare of the people living in those communities.
  • Learn about local efforts to reverse the effects of racist segregation policies and provide equitable access and improve the physical, emotional, and social well-being of people in our communities.


Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, where his recent work has documented the history of state-sponsored residential segregation. In addition to his duties at the Economic Policy Institute, he is a Senior Fellow at the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. He is 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), and co-author of The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (2005); and All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (2003). From 1999 to 2002, he was the national education columnist for the New York Times. Mr. Rothstein lectures widely about issues of equity, race, and education.


Fritz Casey-Leininger, Ph.D.

Fritz (Charles F.) Casey-Leininger, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the University of Cincinnati Department of History where he taught courses in the history of Cincinnati, the Civil Rights Movement, ghettoization, and urban change and directed the Public History program. His publications include studies of racial change in Cincinnati neighborhoods in the twentieth century with an emphasis on the interaction of public policy, urban renewal, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Alona Ballard

Alona Ballard holds a B.A. in communications from Howard University and a Master’s in Education from Xavier University. While Ballard is a native Cincinnatian and graduate of Walnut Hills High School, she has also called several other cities home including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA, Orlando, FL and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Her career path has included stints in real estate, education and social services. Ballard is excited to return to Cincinnati as it brings her closer to her family members and in her new role as Education Outreach Manager for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati (H.O.M.E.) gives her the opportunity to make the city a better place to live for all residents.


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Supporting Sponsors

This Urban Design Salon is sponsored by the following supporters:

Rothstein Sponsor
Urban Design Sponsor
Salon Sponsor
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