Cleveland’s Undoing Oppression Taskforce organized an exhibit highlighting redlining.
Nicholas E. Perry made an exhibit called Undesign the Redline.
“It’s just a perception when you’re outside of this environment, but this is our reality,” said Perry. “This has been systematic since the inception of slavery.”
The display explores race, class and U.S. housing policy.
The trip into history makes some recoil.
“A conversation that can be uncomfortable,” said John Gest with Philanthropy Ohio. “It should be uncomfortable for everyone, but it's more uncomfortable for people who look like me. It’s uncomfortable for those that have more. For some, its Catholic guilt, for others it’s a desire to not face reality.
Perry discusses the inability of people of color to qualify for mortgages and the legacy of poverty that has been built upon racist practices.
“It opens people eyes,” said Perry. “It’s frustrating, it’s painful, but it’s also by design. Some don’t care to understand, nor do they know what to do with the information. Everything is empirical data that supports everything in here.”
“If we don’t know our history, then we don’t know where we’re going to go,” said attendee Luis Gomez. “If the stacks are against you, then it validates everything you are feeling.”
“It’s enlightening, it's powerful,” said attendee Courtenay Barton. “Decade’s worth of policy has played in some of the issues that we are facing today. The role of redlining just creates barriers for people of color, it also created advantages for people who are not people of color.”
Undesign the Redline will remain on display through December 14 from 9 a.m., through 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The display is at Mt. Pleasant NOW, at 13815 Kinsman Rd., in Cleveland.