The Health Department’s Center for Health Equity presents Undesign the Redline, an interactive exploration of NYC’s history of redlining and its impact on public health, at the Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center through December 2018. 

“We are proud to show the Undesign the Redline exhibit at the Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center, a neighborhood with a long history of disinvestment because of policies like redlining,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Viewing this exhibit brings residents together to better understand the history of racist policies and how they impact our health outcomes today.”

In the 1930s, as part of a new housing policy, the U.S. government drew maps to decide which city neighborhoods were too risky for mortgage loans. On the maps, areas whose residents were predominately people of color and recent immigrants, or neighborhoods with the potential for integration, were outlined in red. These redlined neighborhoods were then systematically deprived of resources.

Undesign the Redline, which first opened last January at the Bronx Health Action Center, explores redlining through interactive maps, timelines and personal stories, and provides a historical context on how generations have been impacted by this government policy. It also highlights current social movements and community organizations working to “undesign” the racist legacy and invites the public to share ideas.

“As we activate these spaces, it is critical to use artful and interactive ways to communicate what really creates health in our neighborhoods,” said Dr. Aletha Maybank, deputy commissioner and director of the Center for Health Equity. “The Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center is a key place for people of all ages to learn about the history, policy and the effects of structural racism on health.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public. To sign up for a guided tour, available Tuesdays through Saturdays, go here. 

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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