Part I: The Color of Law


Event details:

12:00pm CST on Friday, January 22, 2021
1:00pm CST on Friday, January 22, 2021

Free to attend but must register to receive the Zoom link.

This event is open to All LAI members globally.
Registration for this event has closed.

As part of LAI’s 90th Anniversary project, we will explore the history of LAI and racial justice in land economics. Inspired by the book club of our Minnesota Chapter, the Global Chapter of LAI is planning a three-part series around the themes set in The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.


Part I: The Color of Law

Richard T. Ely, Homer Hoyt, and Structural Racism

Lambda Alpha International (LAI) honorary land economics society was founded in 1930, a year of economic chaos following the collapse of the stock market and subsequent bank failures and massive mortgage defaults. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, which reformed financial systems, was influenced by the writings of Richard T. Ely and by the involvement of Ely’s former students. Economist Homer Hoyt, who served two terms as International President of LAI, developed theories of land value, including neighborhood rating systems, that were the basis of Federal Housing Administration underwriting policies for public and private housing. The housing policies that emerged in the 1930s accepted and promoted racial segregation and redlining, laying a foundation for decades of injustice.

Please join us for a discussion with:

LaDale Winling. Dr. Winling’s newest book will explore the careers of two economists, Richard T. Ely and Robert C. Weaver -- one white and one Black; one an academic and one a public policy figure -- to detail the rise, fall, and transformation of redlining over the course of the 20th century. Ely created the field of real estate economics and many of the ideas that made redlining possible, while Weaver spent his career from the 1930s through the 1960s trying to unravel redlining and racial segregation in housing. His project is titled Chicago and the Making of American Real Estate.

An associate professor in the Virginia Tech Department of History, he was recently awarded the Lloyd Lewis Fellowship from the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Peter Hendee Brown is a planner, architect, and development consultant based in in Minneapolis. He teaches private sector development and planning and design for the urban public realm at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He is the author of How Real Estate Developers Think and America’s Waterfront Revival.

Mr. Brown is President of the Minnesota Chapter of LAI. He recently led chapter members through a compelling discussion of Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

Extra-credit homework: See LAI’s history timeline to learn more about Richard T. Ely and Homer Hoyt and their relationships to LAI.