Monday, October 5, 2009

Affordable housing and racial dialogue

Over the weekend I read with interest a piece in The New York Times about a battle in a New Orleans suburb over the building of affordable housing.  The author paints it in the particular light of the struggle to rebuild after Katrina, but this is a dynamic that is prevalent elsewhere.  Much of it has to do with race, and not just in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.  I see it many places that I work with affordable housing organizations, much as we might wish we lived in a post-racial world.  It seems that when the possibility arises that minorities might move into a non-minority neighborhood the temperature goes way up, and ugly things are often said and done.

One reason to have hope, though, is that the Kellogg Foundation is beginning to support community-based work on racial healing.  They plan to make it a local, regional, and national dialogue.  If all goes well some of my colleagues here at UGA will be involved in this dialogue, so I look forward to posting more about it as time goes on.

Jamie Baker Roskie

P.S. Over the weekend my co-editor Matt Festa blogged about the end of the universe as evidenced by three Starbucks on one corner.  I've discovered the true end of the universe - there will soon be a McDonald's at the Louvre.  Naturally the French are outraged.

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