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Urban Action 7/17 

This week's call to action includes the following events and activities. (All are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.)

Government and racial segregation

As part of its 50th anniversary observance, the human services organization Pathstone will host author Richard Rothstein for a discussion of his book, "The Color of Law," on Friday, July 19.

Rothstein will highlight the main argument of his book: that the present-day residential racial segregation of Rochester and other US cities is due to racially motivated government policies.

Rothstein's book draws on historical examples, from the housing policies of Franklin Roosevelt – whose New Deal public housing projects were strictly segregated, providing notably better quality for whites – to the failure of police and other public officials to protect African-Americans from persecution when they moved into majority-white neighborhoods. 

Rothstein outlines the ways in which government-created segregation worsened inequalities in areas like criminal justice, economic stability, and education, and he argues that desegregation, like segregation, should be attained through government policy. 

Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He has written several books on education and race in America.

Also on the program will be Alice Holloway Young, a founding trustee of Monroe Community College, who experienced racial segregation first-hand. When she and her family moved to Rochester in 1945, discriminatory housing practices prevented them from buying a house in the neighborhood they chose. When they eventually bought a house with the help of white civil rights advocate Georgiana Sibley, Young and her husband were threatened and harassed by the Ku Klux Klan.

The event will be held at the Lyric Theatre, 440 East Avenue, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

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