Undesign the Redline Virtual Workshop Experience

This optional professional development opportunity take place in a blended format. Explore the history of redlining and systemic racism in housing with the Polk County Housing Trust Fund's new 5-part video series. Watch the videos at your own pace and interact with your colleagues about what you have learned through the Canvas platform.

This series explores

  • the history of past racial housing policies,
  • the history of Des Moines and the State of Iowa in regard to these past policies and others and, 
  • look at how that history has impacted the city of Des Moines as an example and discuss how this applies to cities across Iowa and what we can do about it. 

The first three weeks of the month you will have the opportunity to view the videos on your own and write down thoughts and questions you have about the video content.  At the end of the month Professional Development will host a virtual capstone event over Zoom to discuss the project and have a conversation about the topic.

What is Redlining?

In the 1930s, President Roosevelt created a variety of federal departments and programs that would bring America out of the Great Depression. This action is known as the New Deal and its impact on families across the country was mostly positive. However, with the creation of the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), a system now known as Redlining came into existence. This home valuation and mortgage risk assessment system embedded Jim Crow-era segregation and inequality into cities across the United States. Maps of cities were developed to show which neighborhoods were best for investment and mortgage loans and which were not. These maps, known as Redlining maps, told banks where and whom they should provide money. This practice is how structural racism and inequality was designed into our cities and built environment. And the impact and consequences have never been undone. 

“It is our hope that as people engage with the history of redlining and hear how lives continue to be damaged, they will feel moved to have conversations around the design and growth patterns in our community. This includes calling for action to create housing policies that with great intentionality will work to reverse redlining and provide equity and opportunities for all people, in all neighborhoods,” shared Kendyl Larson, Director of Research and Planning at Polk County Housing Trust Fund.

Upcoming Events

Course Information

 Time Requirement

Each video in this 5-part series is 11 to 25 minutes long.

 Cost to Participants

There is no fee for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach faculty and staff to participate.