Although the foreclosure crisis hit communities across the country—and homeowners of every race and ethnicity— research indicates that African-American, Latino and other minority homeowners suffered disproportionately, as have communities of color. With a revitalized civil rights focus at the federal level, the time is ripe to examine the role that lending discrimination and civil rights violations have played in this crisis and to consider how a civil rights perspective can help address immediate, critical needs in these communities and the longer-term solutions needed to rebuild struggling communities.
On Wednesday, June 23, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a discussion with experts and practitioners involved with community revitalization and civil rights. Bruce Katz, Brookings vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, opened the session; Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice, delivered remarks and addressed the federal role. A panel of respondents focused on strategies local governments and non-profits are employing to rebuild their communities.
After the presentations, speakers took questions from the audience.
Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights speaks as Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, looks on.
John Payton, President, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, addresses the audience.
Ken Zimmerman, Brookings; John Payton, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Helen Kanovsky, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County, OH; and Marik Willis, Furman Center at NYU. (Photos by Paul Morigi)