The New Reconstruction:

Creating an Equitable Society
through Structural Transformation

Reconstruction following the Civil War failed entirely to establish any type of equitable system upon which Black Americans could own property, access the full range of life’s opportunities, and accumulate wealth. 

Systemic governmental and private market discrimination both prevented people of color from living in neighborhoods of opportunity and starved the neighborhoods in which they did live of credit, healthy food, quality education, green spaces, and much more. 

The murder of George Floyd was the lightning bold that woke up the whole world to the need for a new reconstruction designed to create meaningful economic and social change for more equitable outcomes for Black Americans and all people of color. 

The conference sessions will focus on some of the most prominent problems that need to be addressed and the ways in which we can achieve lasting reconstruction.

Conference Overview

“A New Reconstruction: Creating An Equitable Society through Structural Transformation.”

A Lasting Reconstruction | Creating an Equitable Society

A Lasting Reconstruction | Creating an Equitable Society

The opening session will lay the foundation for the remainder of the conference describing how this country can be transformed and how we can create a lasting Reconstruction. Featuring two of the nation’s leading voices on fairness, justice, racial equity, and fair housing, Wade Henderson and Lisa Rice will discuss what it will take for us to shed the cloak of racism and inequality and build a fair, just and prosperous society.

Keys Unlock Dreams | The Centrality of Housing to Building an Equitable Society
  • 1:15pm EDT - 3:15pm EDT
  • Alanna McCargo & Dr. Svenja Gudell

Keys Unlock Dreams | The Centrality of Housing to Building an Equitable Society

This session will bring together thought leaders to discuss the structural and systemic barriers driving these precipitous disparities. Panelists will highlight key research, policies, products, and innovations that are key to advancing workable solutions to eliminate the homeownership and racial wealth gap.

Policy, Production, Preservation, and Partnerships | The Role of Affordable Housing in an Equitable Society
  • 3:30pm EDT - 5:00pm EDT
  • Robert Burns

Policy, Production, Preservation, and Partnerships | The Role of Affordable Housing in an Equitable Society

How do we address these major barriers to the collective well-being of our nation in a way that is both economical and equitable? This session will pave the way to the new (re)construction of effective policy implementation, the production and preservation of affordable housing, and on-the-ground partnerships necessary to foster a more prosperous society.

The Moral and Economic Imperative to Eliminate Inequality
  • 12:15pm EDT - 1:15pm EDT
  • Lisa Rice

The Moral and Economic Imperative to Eliminate Inequality

The U.S economy has not worked well for people of color who have a fraction of the wealth of their white counterparts. Much of the wealth gap is rooted in the widening homeownership gap and diminishing access to affordable housing opportunities. In this session, Dr. Calabria will discuss the GSEs’ role in advancing opportunity and FHFA’s efforts to fulfill both the letter and spirit of the nation’s fair housing and fair lending laws.

Shocks To The System | The Economics of Inequality
  • 1:30pm EDT - 3:00pm EDT
  • Sarah R. Wartell

Shocks To The System | The Economics of Inequality

Housing and lending policies have helped create a society that is deeply unequal. Recent policy solutions, like the CARES Act, contribute to the growing inequality that is clearly harming communities of color. A major challenge to addressing and overcoming these deleterious policies has been the lack of attention and focus on how unfair policies also harm the broader society. We are just beginning to touch the surface about the true costs of lost opportunities due to discrimination. Much more work needs to be done to quantify and qualify those damages. This panel will discuss efforts to calculate

Critical Impacts | The Economic, Life, and Social Determinants of Artificial Intelligence
  • 3:15pm EDT - 4:00pm EDT
  • Rohit Chopra

Critical Impacts | The Economic, Life, and Social Determinants of Artificial Intelligence

Technology shapes our lives in ways that we have not fully appreciated. Whether we are selected for a job, what type of healthcare we receive, how much we pay to access credit, what types of insurance products are available to us, whether we are arrested, and so much more are impacted by technology we often do not understand. These systems exist behind shields of proprietary protections, trade secrets and opaque boxes that obfuscate just how deeply they control our lives. The more we understand the science behind artificial intelligence, the better we can fashion policies and practices to ensure these systems help, rather than harm, us.

The Ghost In The Machine | Using Technology To Create Fairer Outcomes
  • 4:00pm EDT - 5:00pm EDT
  • Kareem Saleh

The Ghost In The Machine | Using Technology To Create Fairer Outcomes

With our increasing reliance on algorithmic-based systems, we have an opportunity to move the needle significantly on advancing equality. If we are going to create a just and fair society, we must embrace new methodologies for eliminating bias from our technology. This panel explores bias in data and technology and solutions for eliminating injustice in algorithmic-based systems.

WHERE YOU LIVE CAN KILL YOU | Neighborhoods and Environmental Justice
  • 12:30pm EDT - 1:00pm EDT
  • Dr. Robert Bullard

WHERE YOU LIVE CAN KILL YOU | Neighborhoods and Environmental Justice

Statistically, communities of color are disproportionately affected by environmental damage. Toxic living conditions and environmental racism helped inflate death rates among African Americans and other People of Color, even before COVID-19 struck. Communities of color have historically, experienced huge barriers to their right to fair housing choice, and they disproportionately face significant environmental injustice in their own backyards.

THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN FAIR HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
  • 1:15pm EDT - 2:45pm EDT
  • Claudine Ebeid McElwain

THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN FAIR HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Environmental justice embraces the principle that all people and communities have a right to equal protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. America is segregated and so is pollution. Race and class still matter and map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability. This session opens the conversation between two fields leading the fight for equitable futures: Fair Housing and Environmental Justice. We will learn how the Fair Housing Act can be used to address current and long-standing environmental injustices in our nation.

A CLOCK IS TICKING:  The Effect of Climate Change on Communities of Color
  • 3:00pm EDT - 3:45pm EDT
  • Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd & Katharine Hayhoe

A CLOCK IS TICKING: The Effect of Climate Change on Communities of Color

Climate change and global warming are driving changes in weather patterns and much more. But how these changes affect our ability to create a fair and equitable society is rarely discussed. What is the science behind what is happening to our environment and resources, and how does that affect our ability to live fulfilling lives and provide our children with the future they deserve? Moreover, are there lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that can help us enact better policies? Can an energy renaissance help us build a more just community? Climate experts Dr. Marshall Shepherd and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe answer these questions and share ideas about how we can expand climate literacy in our homes, communities, organizations, and our nation.

STRATEGIES TO ENSURE HOUSING AND CLIMATE JUSTICE
  • 4:00pm EDT - 5:15pm EDT
  • Keenya Robertson

STRATEGIES TO ENSURE HOUSING AND CLIMATE JUSTICE

Climate change and climate justice are not isolated issues; instead they require truly intentional and inclusive approaches to coalition-building and policy-making. If we ever expect to provide justice and equity for our communities, we must build cross-movement alliances and recognize climate justice as an intersectional civil rights issue. In this session, panelists will examine climate change through a civil rights lens to demonstrate the need for collective action between practitioners of fair housing and climate justice.

A WATERSHED MOMENT: The Disparate Impact Doctrine in a Time of Crisis
  • 1:00pm EDT - 2:30pm EDT
  • Lisa Rice

A WATERSHED MOMENT: The Disparate Impact Doctrine in a Time of Crisis

The Financial Services industry has drastically changed its position on Disparate Impact in the wake of the social and political unrest resulting from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. All across the US, Industry leaders have recently made a newfound dedication to racial justice and civil rights, issue ing statement after statement reiterating their commitments. For the sake of social and racial justice and equality; are here to ensure that their words are followed with real action.

THE NEW RECONSTRUCTION: Planning To Win
  • 2:45pm EDT - 4:45pm EDT
  • April ryan

THE NEW RECONSTRUCTION: Planning To Win

The first Reconstruction, following the end of the Civil War, held great promise for People of Color. Designed to provide full equity and parity, particularly for the formerly enslaved population, demands for full and equal voting rights, political participation, educational access, housing rights, access to credit and economic opportunity, annihilation of racist policies and practices, and a plan for reparations were part and parcel of the Reconstruction ideal. But it was never realized due to intentional and systemic racism and discrimination. Today, we are fashioning a new and lasting reconstruction. We are positioning ourselves to win on all fronts. This panel explores the transformative and reparative policies, systems and structures we must put in place so we can have a truly equal, productive, and just society.