Perhaps you’ve seen the banners or booklist on the MCFL website with the long title of: Demystifying Affordable Housing through a Racial Justice Lens ... quite a mouthful! But the heart of this series of events is deeply connected to life here in Marin: housing is something that affects every area of life in our county.
This event series began as a partnership between Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Marin and former Fairfax Librarian April Hayley several years ago, and has since blossomed into a deeper relationship with MCFL through the additional connection with South Novato Librarian, Rashida Skaar.
Throughout the inception stages of this series, we asked: “What issue is most deeply connected to the day-to-day injustices we see here in Marin County?” The answer to this simple question was housing. We believed that by exploring our difficult history with race and housing, and by looking at the ways that these issues are intrinsically linked and affecting Marin residents today, we might be able to touch on possible solutions that will help us become a more equitable place to live.
Past events include such hard-hitting topics as: the history of housing discrimination and exclusion in Marin; school segregation in Marin and its connection to housing segregation; exploring reparations in the form of land and housing; and the homelessness crisis in our region.
Currently, we are on the sixth event of the series where we look at the ways that a culture of Not-In-My Backyard (NIMBY) and certain elements of the conservation movement have been used to maintain an ultimately discriminatory status quo in our county and across the nation. As with each of these events, we open with a short film and follow up with an in-depth discussion with people who are on the front lines of these issues!
If you have missed the first events in this series, don’t despair! They have been recorded and you can view them all online on the MCFL YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEwX_44-X2-uCI09kXVGTO_3CZRfqE6uZ (The links for the accompanying films can also be found in the description of each video.)
For those who would like to take deep-dives into these topics, we have also created booklists that feature some fascinating work in the fields of race studies, history, economics, city planning and urban development, and politics. You can read your way through these topics with these book and resource lists.