Our geography defines our understanding of the world as much as anything else. National and state boundaries and even city streets define the areas that mark what is home, what is safe, and where we belong. The ability to make choices about where you want to live also shapes what schools you attend, your level of access to parks and green space, and your commute to work. There is one neighborhood characteristic that does not happen by accident—racial composition. Discriminatory lending practices such as redlining have created cities that are racially segregated. Growing up in racially segregated communities shape children’s perspectives and they implicitly learn who city leaders prioritize in terms of services and investment. Small childhood trips to the grocery store, airports or downtown can be adventures in learning about social difference. Within the confines of their own neighborhoods, children also learn the importance of their own culture and what it means to value community. On today’s episode Juliet Stipeche, Attorney and former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Education, Dr. Assata Richards, Director of the Sankofa Reach Institute, join guest host Dr. Melanye Price to discuss growing up in racially segregated Houston and their experiences of crossing racial borders while traversing the city. Both of their communities are also undergoing major changes because of gentrification, and we talk about what will be lost if current residents are displaced.
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