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SharePrint A Conversation With Richard Rothstein WVHC Event

April 17, 2019

Institute, Kanawha


Richard Rothstein will offer the keynote address for the 6th Annual WVSU Human Relations Conference. This year’s conference theme is Building Communities Among Diverse Interests.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM at Ferrell Hall, West Virginia State University. This event is free and open to the public.

The Color of Law, the book, will be on sale beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Author book signing will follow the lecture.

In his 2017 book, The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein illustrates how segregation in America is the byproduct of government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. To scholars and social critics, the racial segregation of our neighborhoods has long been viewed as a manifestation of unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants working outside the law. This is what is commonly known as “de facto segregation,” practices that were the outcome of private activity, not law or explicit public policy. Yet, as Rothstein breaks down in case after case, private activity could not have imposed segregation without explicit government policies (de jure segregation) designed to ensure the separation of African Americans from whites.

A research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, as well as a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Mr. Rothstein has spent years documenting the evidence that government not merely ignored discriminatory practices in the residential sphere, but promoted them. The impact has been devastating for generations of African-Americans who were denied the right to live where they wanted to live, and raise and school their children where they could flourish.

“One of the great strengths of Rothstein’s account is the sheer weight of evidence he marshals. …he demolishes the notion that government played a minor role in creating racial ghettos that plague our suburbs and inner cities. Going back to the late 19th century, he uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration including those we normally describe as liberal on domestic issues.” – David Oshinsky, professor of history at New York University, for the New York Times

Presentation of this lecture is a joint project of WVSU Cultural Activities and YWCA Charleston. This lecture is offered to the WVSU community by the WVSU Office of Student Life and Engagement with the WVSU Committee for Cultural Activities and Educational Assemblies.

This project is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.



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