The Roots of Structural Racism: Residential Segregation in the US

June 22, 2021
9am-12pm PT / 12pm-3pm ET

Join us Tuesday, June 22, 9am-12pm PT / 12pm-3pm ET, for a half-day forum with fair housing advocates and leading race and housing scholars from across the United States for the unveiling of "The Roots of Structural Racism," a groundbreaking new project from the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley which details just how widespread and harmful racial residential segregation remains today, why it matters, who it impacts, and what can be done to reverse this dangerous trend and promote integration.


More than half a century has passed since the enactment of the 1968 Fair Housing Act which officially outlawed discrimination in housing, a key victory of the Civil Rights Movement. But new research set to be released during this event shows that in far too many cities, segregation has in fact increased, with deeply consequential impacts in terms of people's physical and mental health, access to well-performing schools, job opportunities, exposure to violent police, and overall life outcomes.

Speakers include Richard Rothstein, author of the best-seller The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America; Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance; Demetria McCain, fair housing advocate and president of the Inclusive Communities Project; Margery Turner, expert on urban policy and neighborhood issues and fellow at the Urban Institute; Ajmel Quereshi, Senior Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund; john a. powell, OBI director and housing expert; Stephen Menendian, OBI assistant director who led the Roots of Structural Racism project; and Samir Gambhir, director of OBI's Equity Metrics program, and co-author of The Roots of Structural Racism project.

The event will be livestreamed on the Othering & Belonging Institute's YouTube and Facebook pages, and the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists during the three sessions using the chat boxes.

This event is organized by the Othering & Belonging Institute and co-sponsored by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Inclusive Communities Project, Race Forward, the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), California Housing Partnership, the Urban Displacement Project, Fair Housing Advocates of Northern CA, the National Housing Law Project, the Anti-Discrimination Center, the Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Berkeley Geography, African American Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.


Session I: Report & Map overview in a Q&A format
9am - 9:30am PT / 12pm - 12:30pm ET

The first session will be led by Stephen Menendian who will unveil the segregation project’s many interconnected components, including a powerful and sophisticated interactive web map which allows users to see the segregation levels of every census tract, city, and metropolitan area in the United States in granular detail. He will also go over key findings of the accompanying report and other resources associated with this project.


  • Stephen Menendian, assistant director of the Othering & Belonging Institute & lead author of "The Roots of Structural Racism" project

  • Samir Gambhir, director of the Equity Metrics program at the Othering & Belonging Institute, and co-author of "The Roots of Structural Racism" project

Session II: Why Segregation Still Matters
9:30am - 10:45am PT / 12:30pm - 1:45pm ET

The second session will examine the questions: Does racial residential segregation still matter today? Why and how? Panelists will discuss the impacts of racial residential segregation in communities across the country and its relation to the uprisings and demonstrations of 2020.


  • Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

  • Margery Turner, Fellow at the Urban Institute & author of Public Housing and the Legacy of Segregation

  • john a. powell, Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute

  • Stephen Menendian (moderator)

Session III: How to Move Towards Integration
10:50am - 12pm PT / 1:50pm - 3pm ET

The third and final session will look at what can be done to fight back against exclusionary policies that have maintained segregation even after housing discrimination was officially banned, and offer key strategies to promote integration at local, state and national levels.



This event will include live captioning and ASL.