By: NANCY CAMBRIA
Communications Manager, For the Sake of All

We are excited to announce that For the Sake of All is partnering with the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Commission (EHOC) this spring to present Richard Rothstein, author of the highly acclaimed book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

Rothstein will present the keynote address for a day-long conference on April 25 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis entitled Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide, which is also the title of a new report to be released this spring by For the Sake of All and local housing experts. The conference and report will focus on housing and segregation in St. Louis, its debilitating influence on health and opportunity, and recommendations to address pervasive segregation in the housing sector that divides the region and holds it back.

Released in May 2017, Rothstein’s The Color of Law presents a precise and exhaustive look at the laws and policies on local, state, and national levels that have contributed to persistent segregation and economic inequity in our nation. The book is an extension of The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles, a 2015 article on housing policy and segregation in St. Louis that Rothstein authored for the Economic Policy Institute. The article was written in the aftermath of protests responding to the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in a poor, segregated neighborhood in Ferguson.

Rothstein will present his keynote speech as part of EHOC’s annual conference. The conference will be held at the JCPenney Conference Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Registration information and further details will be released soon.

The conference and numerous break-out sessions will focus on the findings of the report Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide to be released this spring by For the Sake of All in partnership with regional experts in the fields of equitable and affordable housing, law, and fair development.

Those partners include EHOC, Team TIF, Arch City Defenders, Community Builders Network of St. Louis, and others who, along with a 20-member housing workgroup, spent more than a year advising For the Sake of All on recommendations intended to break down patterns of segregation and build connections and equity in St. Louis.

One of the more disturbing research findings in the original For the Sake of All report focused on life expectancy and its connection to race and ZIP Codes. The report found that a child born in predominantly white, wealthy Clayton can expect to live 18 years longer than a child born in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood in segregated and poor North St. Louis.

The report outlines the many social determinants of health contributing to this profound gap: a lack of accessible resources such as jobs and healthy foods, segregated and underperforming schools, poor health care options, and a lack of other key services and healthy options.

For the Sake of All’s upcoming report, Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide, will focus specifically on the region’s long history of segregated housing and its debilitating influence on health and opportunity. It will further illustrate through personal stories of St. Louisians how this legacy continues to divide our community and cause hardship among people living in our region today.

The report will conclude with recommendations that can be implemented by groups already working in these areas with the benefit of stronger community engagement and support. These recommendations will be discussed in break-out sessions and forums throughout the conference on April 25. We will post updates on the event and the report in the upcoming months.

Stay tuned by following us on Twitter @4thesakeofall.