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      Mapping Inequality: Digitizing our Redlining History

      We’re raising funds to digitize the data revealing racist housing policy. Join the campaign!


      Many of us have already heard of "redlining", the practice of discriminatory lending under which Black and Hispanic Americans were systematically excluded from the economic boom of the '50s and '60s, while middle class White families received federal subsidies to create lasting wealth that they could pass on to future generations. You may even have seen some of the color coded maps from which redlining gets its name. But did you know that there are many thousands of pages of documentation from the federal authorities responsible for these maps that remain in boxes in the National Archives? In addition to the areas that were formally mapped, federal surveyors created parcel-level records, and neighborhood-level reports, for many more towns, and their policies informed the practices of thousands of local homebuilders — for instance, the racial covenants that were often described as selling points in advertising targeting middle-class urbanites:


      A real estate firm, Fox & Carskadon, marketed the Hillsdale homes in 1940 with newspaper ads boasting of the deed clauses that enforced the neighborhood’s racial exclusivity: “Let us tell you of the protective covenants that guarantee Hillsdale’s enduring character for all time to come."


      Now, the YIMBY movement is campaigning to help the National Archives and the academic team behind the Mapping Inequality project complete the work of digitizing all records retained from this ignominious period in our history. 


      Our work will reveal the implicit redlining of neighborhoods, even where actual paper maps were never produced. We have raised $21,000 to fund the purchase of new scanning equipment for the Archives, which will facilitate scanning these materials, allowing the research team to expand their visualization tools and make the data accessible to the public. Now that we've reached our initial goal, additional funds raised will go toward expenses for the researchers.


      Your generous gift will help make this data available to historians, and will invest in an accessible tool through which activists can see how real estate in their area was used to enforce segregation. You will be empowering activists to advance inclusionary policies that will dismantle the racist legacy of the past, and make our nation whole.



      Want to donate by check instead?


      Make payable to: Yes In My Back Yard

      Memo: Mapping Inequality Project

      Mail to: Yes In My Back Yard

      1390 Mission Street Suite 200

      San Francisco, CA 94102



      Yes In My Back Yard (EIN 32-0610451) is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law. No goods or services will be provided in exchange for contributions. Any funds raised in excess of actual project costs may be used for any corporate purpose within the mission of Yes In My Back Yard.