Seeking resources for teaching about redlining

Hello LINCS Community, 

Have you taught about redlining in your classes? Do you have resources to share? Some of the teachers I support are looking to incorporate redlining into their unit on housing. They teach a class of intermediate-and-up English proficiency students in a community-based program. 

The only thing I could find from a quick search on LINCS is this thread on privacy and technology with a link from Kathy Tracey about, among other things, digital redlining (link to article here)

Looking forward to seeing what gets shared!

-Xavier from Virginia


Hi Xavier, 

I have a few links to articles you may find useful. 

Redlining Was Banned 50 Years Ago But It's Still Hurting Minorities Today: Great article on how history is still relevant and the impact is still felt today. 

Not Even Past: Social Vulnerability and the Legacy of Redlining: This would teach  map reading skills along with compare / contrasting skills. 

I hope those resources help. Let's see what some others share. 
Kathy Tracey

Hi Xavier,

I haven't taught redlining before, but a colleague is starting a project-based lesson on redlining and housing discrimination with their advanced ESL students. They shared these two resources with me. I'll report back about the project when it is over.

Mapping inequality tool: 

Excerpt from RACE – THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION: How the Racial Wealth Gap Was Created:

Hi Xavier, This is such an important topic. Some colleagues and I are working on developing a study circle on racism/antiracism in adult basic education programs, and we have been collecting resources to include. I'm sending links to a couple of short YouTube videos that deal with redlining that might be of interest.

  • Video: How Race Settled the Suburbs. Upworthy, Adam Ruins Everything, (Redlining explained; inability of Black families to build wealth; schools are more segregated today than in 1960s) (6:16)
  • Video: Race the House We Live In. California New Reel, Race: The Power of Illusion (the history of redlining and the impact on families explained) (6:04)

Here's a link to results of a search on the Equal Justitice Initiative's website which might lead to something useful.

Would love to hear what you end up using and how the lesson goes.

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP

Hi, Xavier and Others -

This is a great topic for teaching different literacy and numeracy skills.  I've seen teachers use several resources from Baltimore with high intermediate and above learners.  I think it's especially powerful if you can find resources that connect with your own community, so that learners can relate these lessons with their observations and possibly lived experiences.  If those don't exist, using examples from a nearby city is a good place to start.  Here are some of the ones I think your teachers might find useful from Baltimore.  

Redlining Baltimore

Blockbusting: Social and Economic Change through Real Estate

"The Black Butterfly": Racial Segregation and Investment Patterns in Baltimore

Information on Redlining, Baltimore, and Subprime Loans

Race, Class and Baltimore: Inside a Divided City

If this is a topic that members are interested in exploring more, please let me know.  I'd be interested in seeing if we might want to have a future event in the Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes community to share additional resources and perspective from those who have taught this topic in their classes.

Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator

Thanks to all who contributed in response to Xavier Muñoz's request for resources on redlining, which he made on my behalf. I teach an intermediate level ESL class with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, and I incorporated a segment on redlining into a unit on housing, in a lesson called "Rent or Buy?". One of my co-teachers found a great video ("Systemic Racism Explained"  which devoted the first 2 1/2 minutes to explaining redlining in very clear and simple terms that my non-native speakers were able to understand .  After showing the video segment, I used portions of the 2018 Washington Post article "Redlining was banned 50 years ago. It’s still hurting minorities today" accompanied by images of Baltimore redlining maps. Then to bring it a bit closer to home, I used a portion of an October 28 Washington Post article by Michelle Singletary, "Being Black lowers the value of my home: The legacy of redlining", followed by two ads from nearly identical houses, one in Prince George's county and one in Fairfax County, with a price difference of nearly $300,00. I was really happy about how the lesson went, and judging from the questions and comments from my students, I feel like they got a good basic understanding of redlining, its effects, and its legacy. Again, thank you so much for your contributions!

Linda from LCNV

Thank you so much, Linda, for sharing how you approached your lesson on redlining. This is such an important topic to take up in our classrooms. I appreciate your linking us to the video on systemic racism. Comparing the value of homes in different areas is a great idea. It's clear that even though redlining was banned long ago, systemic racism has a significant impact on people's lives and our entire society today. 

Take care, Susan