Space is the place where race, poverty, and the environment get sorted out, for better or worse. And the spaces where we live, work, learn, and play are the places where integration succeeds or fails, argues Sheryll Cashin. The Georgetown University law professor wrote 2004’s The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream, one of the most important and provocative books on civil rights in recent years. (Read an excerpt from the book.)
Photo: Institute on Race & Poverty.
Like the environmental movement, the civil-rights movement has become too focused on litigation, says Cashin. While legal rights are essential, she says, the most important cause of segregation and poverty in America is the simple fact that even after 50 years of legally enforced integration in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education, poor people and people of color still live in spatially isolated communities. Space is the problem. But it could be the solution too.
With information and mapping tools now widely available and accessible online, communities can put all their conce... Read more