In Focus: Racism in Housing Access

People speak during an online call on Zoom.
(From left) MPR News reporter Peter Cox, MayKao Hang, vice president of strategic initiatives and founding dean at the Morrison College of Health at the University of St. Thomas, and Sam Strong, tribal secretary for the Red Lake Nation and previously served as the director of economic development and planning.
MPR News screenshot

Inadequate access to housing is a growing problem in Minnesota, especially during a pandemic and economic downturn. Even while more Minnesotans are finding themselves without homes, it’s clear this crisis is hitting some communities harder than others: Black and Indigenous adults are overrepresented in the state’s unsheltered population.

How does racism affect a person’s ability to find a house or apartment and keep it? What are Twin Cities organizations doing to address these persistent racial disparities in homelessness and help more people access housing? MPR News partnered with Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis on this virtual event to bring awareness, dialogue and potential solutions to the problem of racism in housing access.

The event also included recorded conversations between D’Andre Gordon, a public policy advocate with Catholic Charities, and Venice Gerald, an information systems manager, consultant and free spirit writer.

MPR News’ In Focus is a series of convenings we are committed to leading over the next year on Minnesota’s persistent racial disparities. Through conversations with community leaders that are shaped by our curious, engaged audience, MPR News hopes to encourage new connections and relationships that will help Minnesota communities make progress toward equity and inclusion.

Guests:

MayKao Hang is vice president of strategic initiatives and founding dean at the Morrison College of Health at the University of St. Thomas.

Sam Strong is tribal secretary for the Red Lake Nation and previously served as the director of economic development and planning.

If you want to receive updates from MPR News on future events and initiatives focused around race, identity, social justice and reform, let us know here.

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