What Should the Next President Do? A Search for a Path for All

  • Catalina Freixas
  • Mark Abbott
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


The purpose of the chapter is to identify what policy initiatives need to take place in the USA to achieve equity for African-Americans. The research of Murphy and Cunningham (Organizing for Community Controlled Development: Renewing Civil Society. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2003), Dennis and Lourie (Everything is Normal until Proven Otherwise: A Book about Wraparound Services. CWLA Press, Washington, DC, 2006), Iverson and Armstrong (Jobs Aren’t Enough: Toward a New Economic Mobility for Low-Income Families. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2006), Miller and Hess (Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving. Wadsworth Publishing, Boston, 2013), Tighe and Mueller (The Affordable Housing Reader. Routledge, New York, 2013), Goldsmith (2016) and Miller (Economic Development for Everyone: Creating Jobs, Growing Businesses, and Building Resilience in Low Income Communities. Routledge, New York, 2017) informed this focus group agenda. In addition, the topic was shaped by reports from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (TRHT Implementation Handbook, 2016) and The Ferguson Commission (Forward through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity, 2015). Five central points emerged from the conversation. One, most of the discussants did not think that meaningful action would come from the federal government. Two, efforts at restorative justice could not just rely on political or legislative initiatives. A re-ordering of America’s socio-political structure was necessary. Three, mitigation of segregation could not be limited to housing. Mitigation of segregation in employment and education was also crucial. Four, lasting racial change in America depended upon a fundamental transformation of the mindset of both African Americans and whites toward one another. Five, true equity for African Americans was the only meaningful long-term goal for race relations in America. In the accompanying essay, “The Day After Segregation: Thinking Through the Unimaginable,” Jonathan Smith makes a distinction between what race is and what race does. For him, the main purpose of race is to spatially separate people. Smith points out that the use of race to segregate African Americans has resulted in their exploitation. Yet, that same segregation has been used by African Americans to define their “blackness” and the boundaries of what they call home. For Smith, Americans—both white and black—will not be able to imagine a world without segregation until they recognize this paradox.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catalina Freixas
    • 1
  • Mark Abbott
    • 2
  1. 1.ArchitectureWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Social and Behavioral SciencesHarris-Stowe State UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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