top of page
  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. Housing Inequities

June 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: freepik

Homeownership is often considered one of the pillars of the American Dream. However, the United States has a long history of restricting homeownership access for large swaths of the population. Starting in the early 20th century, policies such as redlining and racial covenants made it difficult for People of Color to secure loans and purchase homes. Without the opportunity to purchase homes, People of Color were denied decades of wealth accumulation, making it difficult to improve their quality of life. The resources below explore these policies, their consequences, and how design teams can make a positive change.

To learn more about how racist housing policies impacted your city, we recommend exploring Mapping Inequality, which houses redlining maps from cities across the U.S.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


A Blueprint for Public Housing - The Smithsonian

This piece from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture reflects on the evolution of public housing in the US. In it, the author discusses how federal policies morphed public housing projects into structures that reinforce systemic racism.


Redlining and Racial Covenants: Jim Crow of the North - Twin Cities Public Television

This clip from the TPT documentary, “Jim Crow of the North” explains the history behind the creation of redlining and racial covenants in the US. Experts interviewed describe how these practices impacted people of color.


Race and Architecture: Housing and the Role of the Designer - Boston Society of Architects

A panel of architects and developers discuss the role that the design team can play in addressing inequities in housing and housing policies. *If you have limited time, consider skipping ahead to roughly 1:10:00 for the beginning of the Q & A session with the presenters.


Questions to Ask Yourself While You Read.Watch.Listen

  • Do you see evidence of segregation caused by redlining and/or similar policies in your community?

  • How can we be thoughtful about planning new housing developments to encourage more equitable communities?

  • As a structural engineer and a private citizen, what are some ways that you can get involved to help your local community with housing policies and planning?


This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

56 views0 comments


bottom of page