In 2014, 46 years after the passing of the Fair Housing Act, residential segregation is still a stark reality in our nation’s towns and cities. Segregation is more than geographical division by race – it is connected to critical quality of life indicators, including income, health, education, and life expectancy. The theme for the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center’s 2014 Fit for King 7th summit was “Are We Winning the Struggle to End Segregation?”. This conference investigated the progress our country has made towards integration, the consequences of continued segregation on our communities, and how federal law and policy have been used to perpetuate segregation both historically and today. The conference closed with an interactive session about the possibility of integrated neighborhoods, how they can be sustained, and ways to advance housing choice locally as well as in the upcoming state legislative session.
The summit analyzed the state of residential racial segregation on a local and national level. Experts from around the country led breakout sessions and panel discussions examining the intersections between racial segregation and environmental justice, gentrification, education, voting rights and public policy.
The celebration was on Friday, January 15, 2014 and was a huge success! The conference occurred at the Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center, 2045 Lakeshore Drive. GNOFHAC was honored to welcome keynote Ben Jealous, past president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Jealous celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s life by exploring the question: “Are We Winning the Struggle to End Segregation?” View pictures from the event here.
The theme for Fit for King 2013 was Disparate Impact: A Vital Tool for Building Equity. Disparate impact analysis is an established legal doctrine that civil rights advocates use to help enforce laws like the Fair Housing Act. Disparate impact arguments usually rely on statistical analysis to demonstrate that a policy that may seem facially neutral actually has a disproportionate effect on a protected group of people. Disparate impact analysis is a vital tool for civil rights advocates to have in their quest to build equity. However, the concept has seen recent challenges, including a renewed attack on the concept by the banking industry. Fit for King 2013 explored the use of disparate impact as a tool in the areas of criminal justice, education, and housing.
The celebration was on Friday, January 18, 2013 and was a huge success! The conference occurred at the Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center, 2045 Lakeshore Drive. After the conference, we were joined by many attendees for a Fit for King Cocktail Reception and an opportunity to mingle with presenters, GNOFHAC staff and fellow attendees. Entrance to this gathering was only $50 and included an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and great conversation. All money raised went towards supporting future programs of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.
Fit for King 2012 was entitled “Women & Fair Housing,” and was held at the Tulane Hillel on January 13, 2012. The summit examined the gendered impact of discriminatory housing policies and practices on the lives of women and marginalized communities. The conference also highlighted the importance of approaching housing policy, fair housing enforcement, and urban planning with an understanding of the intersecting impacts of gender, race, space, income, and related factors. The event was keynoted by Professor Anita Hill, Esq, who shared her new book Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race & Finding Home.
Fit for King 2011 was held at the First Grace United Methodist Church and featured a conversation about Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing as a Holistic Vision for Healthy Communities. The event was keynoted by Sara Pratt. Photos of the event are located here.
Fit for King 2010 featured a summit called “Red Lines & Keep Out Signs” keynoted by Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America. The weekend also featured a restaurant fundraiser and a book signing event with Ms. Satter. Please check out pictures of the event.
Fit for King 2009 featured an Advocate’s Training and a Community Power Day. At the Advocate’s Training, participants attended workshops on envisioning whole neighborhoods, framing your message, utilizing the media, and using the law. The event was keynoted by Melissa Harris-Perry. Community Power Day featured screenings of documentary films about housing justice issues.
Fit for King 2008 was held at the Lindy Boggs Convention Center and featured a Teach-In event on Saturday, January 19th, and a Dine-Out restaurant fundraiser on Monday, January 21st. The event was keynoted by Melissa Harris-Perry.