June 28, 2022
Main Library (300 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro)
300 Estudillo Ave
San Leandro, CA 94577
Redlining & Housing Discrimination Exhibit
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The San Leandro Public Library is hosting an opening event featuring its historical exhibit, Redlining & Housing Discrimination. The general public is invited to the first floor of the Main Library (300 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro) on Tuesday, June 28th at 6:00 p.m. to view and engage with the library’s first exhibit illuminating the history of federally sponsored housing segregation policies that were reinforced at state and local levels – including here in San Leandro.
Decades of discriminatory practices on national, state, and local levels impacted the ability for people of color to own homes – resulting in long-term segregation and loss of generational wealth.?The effects of housing discrimination continue to permeate our country’s landscape and with very real impacts on people today. Managing a path forward begins with acknowledgement and learning about this very complex and multi-faceted history. This historical exhibit is meant to spark conversations within the community to better understand this difficult and sensitive subject.
The Redlining Exhibit examines just two specific aspects of housing discrimination that took place throughout the nation and in San Leandro: 1. Redlining and 2. the development of mostly white suburban neighborhoods. “The goal of this exhibit is not to shame the community, but to help us better understand the systemic origins of what kept San Leandro a mostly white community well into the 1990s,” says Library Director Brian Simons. “By telling San Leandro’s story, we’re really telling the nation’s story. Systemically racist policies and practices were not unique to San Leandro. And when we know other people’s stories and lived experiences, coupled with the historical records, we can begin to understand one another and the insidiousness of the racism within our country. Thankfully, San Leandro is now one of the most diverse cities in the country. But diversity and unity are two different things. There’s still a better future out there, and our hope is that this exhibit can begin to provide the context necessary to move from diversity to unity.”
The Opening Event will have San Leandro City Council Member Corina Lopez, who is sponsoring this exhibit as her Sesquicentennial focus, say a few words. We also hope to hear from a few of the people who lent their firsthand stories to this exhibit, and perhaps from the County Recorder’s Office about their role in eliminating the discriminatory language from existing deeds and covenants since the passage of AB1466 by the California State Legislature.
This exhibit is a part of the City’s 150th anniversary programs and is available for viewing at both the Main Library and San Leandro History Museum (320 W. Estudillo Ave, San Leandro). The Main Library copy of the exhibit will be on display at least until September, at which time, if there is interest, this copy could travel to other organizations that wish to display it. Please call 510-577-3971 for more information or visit www.sanleandrolibrary.org for more details.