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Should the Government Compel Communities to Integrate?


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For our next Investigate This Tenement Talk, we’re putting together a panel that will try to answer whether the U.S. government has the right to force cities to integrate.  The panelists will be ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, former senior Housing and Urban Development official Betsy Julian, the Tenement Museum’s senior education associate Adam Steinberg and WNYC’s Empire Blog writer Colby Hamilton will moderate the discussion.

The event will take place on Monday, December 10 at 6:30pm Eastern at the Tenement Museum, which is located at 103 Orchard Street (at Delancey).  It’s free and open to the public and can be viewed live on the Tenement Museum’s U-Stream channel.  If you have a question you would like to ask, tweet it with the hashtag #InvestigateThis and we'll have the participants answer.

The conversation comes on the heels of an investigation published last month, in which Hannah-Jones explored how HUD has never truly tried to enforce the Fair Housing Act.  She went on to detail how, even with a court order to desegregate, HUD has let New York’s Westchester County fight attempts to integrate the county that both Bill Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo call home.

We hope to see you there.

Ron Salzberger

Dec. 5, 2012, 11:42 a.m.

You should add Elizabeth Anderson, author of The Imperative of Integration, to y our panel. She is a professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan.

Additional information on the duty of government to foster social equity can be found in Tom Sanchez’ and my new book from Island Press, “Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity.”

If I discovered an island with zero population and wanted to colonize this island, exactly what groups would be represented and in what quantity?  Who would decide and upon what authority?

Answer this and we can discuss.

Tim