Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?
Mapping Prejudice has expanded its focus to include Ramsey County. Our team is doing this in collaboration with St. Catherine University, which has created the “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” initiative to incorporate this work of mapping racial covenants into its teaching, research, and community engagement. This effort embodies the St. Kate’s commitment to social justice and draws its name from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who founded the university. These Sisters are animated by their desire to love their neighbors “without distinction.” “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” pays homage to this legacy while also questioning exactly who was welcomed “without distinction” in the community served by the university.
Students at St. Kate’s were integral to mapping racial covenants in Hennepin County. Mapping Prejudice was incorporated into many classes at St. Kate’s. Professor Taiyon J. Coleman provided a moving testimonial to this effort with this piece, which linked her personal story to the unfolding map.
“Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” was inspired by the determination to reckon with structural racism and housing injustice in St. Paul.
Mapping Prejudice will be working with “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” to:
- Build community awareness about housing injustice, past and present
- Mobilize volunteers to map racial covenants
- Learn from community members about the history of discriminatory housing policies in the Twin Cities
Please help us investigate this hidden history. So many questions remain. How common were these covenants? What areas of our community were reserved for white people only? How much land was restricted in this way? When were they put into place? What did they say? What are the legacies of these practices today?
As we do this research together, we will explore the connections between past injustices and present inequities. This is the first step towards meaningful change.
Get in touch with Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? or Mapping Prejudice to share your ideas for an event, a project or a line of research. We are looking for groups interested in co-hosting virtual volunteer sessions and collaborating around efforts to close racial disparities in Minnesota.