Racial Equity in Virginia

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What can we do?

With an understanding of the history of housing inequity in Virginia and its rippling effects across life outcomes, this section will offer some additional ideas and resources to guide solution-making efforts in your affordable housing and racial equity goals.

Continue learning.

Examine the existing data through a racial lens using HousingForward Virginia’s Sourcebook.

Other resources:

PolicyLink weaves together insights from the fields of healthcare, housing and economic security to outline a case for progressive, equity-focused policy blueprints

The Urban Institute hosts data to help educate and visualize racial equity issues across the country, including: 

The National Low Income Housing Coalition tracks and documents the significant gap between renter’s wages and the cost of rental housing across the nation. Explore their data on localities across Virginia.

Help others understand.

Explore messaging strategies and recommendations to reach across political divisions.

The FrameWorks Institute helps mission-driven organizations communicate about social issues in ways that build public will to support progressive change. Based on what is important to your community, you can explore their guides on reframing strategies: 

Resident NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard) are bipartisan and define their own community boundaries. Explore HousingForward’s Overcoming NIMBY tools to learn why NIMBYs exist in your community and how to be proactive in addressing housing opposition.

Getting people on the same page often poses the biggest challenge when building consensus. Learn how to talk about issues in a way that can create connection and enhance engagement. 

Think about how to advance racial equity in your organization.

Discover what’s working already.

Read the HB854 Statewide Housing Study to learn about the state of housing in the commonwealth and how it connects to racial equity.

Policy/program best practices

Take one small step today.

If you are a service provider, you can evaluate how well your organization tracks outcomes among clients by race using this toolkit for centering racial equity throughout data integration.

If you are a developer, you can dedicate a team meeting to discuss what your organization needs to do to meet the goals of Urban Land Institute’s 10 Principles for Embedding Racial Equity in Real Estate Development.

If you are a real estate agent, you can talk to your local association about ways to encourage persons of color to find a career in real estate. The industry has very low minority representation, particularly among home appraisers.

If you are local government staff, you can use this guide from Esri to leverage your administrative data for racial equity impact assessments.

If you are an elected official, you can browse examples of policies adopted by cities across the country to advance racial equity (collected by the National League of Cities) and share suggestions at your next working meeting. 

If you are an advocate for better housing in your community, you can create an equitable development scorecard to track progress in your community. This example from Virginia Community Voice was created alongside residents from Richmond’s Southside neighborhood.

Further Reading

League of Women Voters of Virginia housing and segregation report (PDF, Nov 2021)

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nikole Hannah-Jones (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

Caste: The Origin of Our Discontent, Isabel Wilkerson (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, Jonathan M. Metzl (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein (Paperback, Hardcover)

Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century Urban America, Elizabeth Korver-Glenn (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook)

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, Carol Anderson (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee (Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook)

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Cathy O’Neil (Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook)

Our America: Lowballed, ABC/Disney Networks (Video Streaming)

13th, Netflix (Video Streaming)

Amend: The Fight for America, Netflix (Video Streaming)

Coded Bias, Shalini Kantayya (Video Streaming)

After Selma, Loki Mulholland (DVD)

America Divided: A House Divided, Epix (Video Streaming)

Loving, Jeff Nichols (Video Streaming)

Thank You to Our Supporters

This toolkit was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond and donations to the Robert J. Adams Fund for Racially Equitable Housing; special thanks to Atlantic Union Bank, Klein Hornig, and the Richmond Association of REALTORS®.