Ben Carson and AFFH: In his nomination hearing yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson backed away from some of the inflammatory statements he has expressed in the past, but left fair and affordable housing advocates in a state of vigilance. In response to questions about fair housing and AFFH, Carson testified that he would “enforce all the laws of the land,” including the Fair Housing Act, but continued to misconstrue the AFFH rule’s careful balance of local flexibility and federal oversight, stating, for example: “I don’t have any kind of problem with affirmative action or at least integration, but I do have a problem with people on high dictating it when they have no idea what’s going on.” We hope that, if confirmed, Dr. Carson will abide by his new commitments to HUD’s mission — and that in addition to enforcing the affirmatively furthering obligation and other laws, he will come to see the AFFH regulation’s value for local communities seeking to advance opportunity and inclusion.
School integration under Obama and King: The National Coalition on School Diversity has released an 8-year retrospective summary of school diversity initiatives supported by the Obama Administration’s Department of Education, including a series of strong recent initiatives by Secretary John King. The report, Federal Support for School Integration: An Obama Administration Review, was prepared by PRRAC Policy Counsel Michael Hilton, with assistance from members of the coalition.
Other events and resources
National Day of Racial Healing 1/17/17: The WK Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative is bringing together partners from across the non-profit, community, corporate and government sectors for a National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, January 17 to mark our collective acknowledgment of the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias and our commitment to build an equitable and just society where all children can thrive. We are joining some of our national partners in a “twitter town hall” at 3:00 pm eastern time next Tuesday Jan 17 (follow the twitter handle @wkkf_anchors and use hashtags: #TRHT, #thedaytoheal, and #dayofracialhealing). Some of the groups we work with locally are also participating – see for example this event in Hartford.
Health equity: The National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering issued Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity, a report on local and community solutions to advance health equity. The report focuses on multi-sector and interdisciplinary initiatives, and offers numerous case studies.