Giving Compass' Take:

• Kimberly Burrowes argues that new investments can revitalize historically excluded neighborhoods, but planners must prioritize racial equity.

• How can funders share best practices and collaborate on racial equity work? 

• Read a roadmap for addressing economic inequality. 

The effects of discriminatory policies limit opportunities for people of color and their communities. The lingering effects of redlining and racial covenants have left many historic, once-thriving Black neighborhoods in need of revitalization as hypervacancy, blight, and neighborhood social and economic distress restrict opportunities for residents to build wealth for future generations.

New investments can revitalize neighborhoods that have been historically excluded. But as policymakers and planners seek to revitalize Black neighborhoods, they must confront the systemic disinvestment embedded in the history of these places and promote racial equity.

Racial equity ensures that a person’s race does not determine their opportunities or outcomes for success. Putting racial equity at the center of revitalization efforts acknowledges the need to dismantle the historic injustices in communities. This lens not only changes the usual approach to neighborhood investment, but it also changes the usual results.

Communities across the US are testing new strategies to tackle racial disparities in homeownership and asset -building, and to improve neighborhood investment. As we celebrate Black legacy this month, we need to use a racial equity lens to develop solutions that help bridge the stark opportunity gaps between Black and white neighborhoods.

Read the full article about racial equity and neighborhood investment by Kimberly Burrowes at Urban Institute.