Race + Housing Series Panel Discussion - Watch the video

To officially kick off our Race + Housing Series, Habitat Chicago hosted a panel discussion and networking event that discussed how housing inequity affects Chicago and all its residents. We welcomed Tonika Lewis Johnson, J.R. Fleming, and Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara to share their thoughts and experiences on the topic.


Watch the full panel discussion below or read the transcript:


Panel takeaways to help create a more equitable Chicago:

  • Take care of your home first. Beautifying your block is an example of showing that you care about your community.
  • Volunteer. Don't put all the burden on the government and corporations. Get more active in the community.
  • Attend community meetings and public forums. If you support something, voice your opinion loudly, because people who really oppose it will come in numbers.
  • Learn how to use the language. Learning how to speak about race and practicing it will help us all be more honest and transparent. The best part? It helps disrupt racism.
  • Make people define their biases. If people allude to a racist thought or idea, politely challenge them by asking them, "Why?" Making people define themselves helps them hear how their comments and unknown biases sound.

More resources

Thank you to Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, BMO, Baird & Warner for supporting of our Race + Housing Series, and we’re grateful for The DuSable Museum of Black History and Education Center and Lenore's Kitchen Catering for hosting and catering this event.

Photo: John Jennings



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