An Opportunity Century? Election 2012, Social Justice, and America

As the election results sink in, partisans are busy debating what 2012 voting patterns mean for Republican and Democratic prospects in the next election cycle. But what lessons do this year’s results hold for those of us who are committed to expanding opportunity and protecting human rights in ways that transcend party and outlast individual elections or candidates? The lessons are plenty, including some that defy the conventional wisdom.


ProPublica Series: Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law

Image by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.propublica.org/article/living-apart-how-the-government-betrayed-a-landmark-civil-rights-law">Propublica.org</a>

 

By Nikole Hannah-Jones

The original article can be found here.

A few months after Congress passed a landmark law directing the federal government to dismantle segregation in the nation's housing, President Nixon's housing chief began plotting a stealth campaign.

The plan, George Romney wrote in a confidential memo to aides, was to use his power as secretary of Housing and Urban Development to remake America's housing patterns, which he described as a "high-income white noose" around the black inner city.


Lost Opportunity

in

 

What must Brigitte Walker think about the presidential candidates? Ms. Walker is an Iraq War veteran, a former staff sergeant who served our country for 21 years until a spinal injury from a mortar attack forced her to leave the military. She comes from a proud family of veterans and service members, including a daughter in the army whose upcoming deployment, her third, will be to Afghanistan.


Low Down Payments Are Not Always High Risk

in

By Nikitra Bailey

This article was originally published by Politico 

Just as we are beginning to see signs of recovery in housing, federal regulators are considering a policy that could threaten economic progress and financial opportunities for middle-class families. This policy would require a 10 percent or other minimum down payment on home loans before the federal government will label them “safe” as “qualified residential mortgages.”


It's Time To Debate Home Opportunity

in

For months I’ve been part of a chorus of voices calling on the presidential candidates to talk about home opportunity. Their virtual silence on addressing foreclosures, restoring devastated communities, ensuring fair housing and lending, and resurrecting the American Dream has been both outrageous and baffling. Outrageous, because abuse by banks and inadequate consumer protections have cost millions of Americans their homes and visited untold suffering. Baffling, given the toll that the crisis continues to take on voters in battleground states like Nevada, Florida, and Ohio.


A Meeting at the White House on Homeownership

in

Last week I attended a meeting at the White House with Obama administration officials on the housing and homeownership crisis. I joined 150 faith, civil rights, consumer protection, and community leaders from around the country to express the urgency of the crisis, share our stories, and promote practical solutions.


Campaigns Should Address the Home Ownership Crisis

in


This article appeared originally on the Minneapolis StarTribune

Now that the presidential campaign is entering the home stretch, President Obama and Mitt Romney need to address home opportunity - the cluster of issues from foreclosures to fair lending to affordable housing.

The housing crisis has harmed millions of American voters and their families. They deserve to know what solutions both candidates are offering.


A Time to Dream


Photo by AFSC-SENE

This article was originally published by Caravan Magazine

By Amitava Kumar

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

Rather, what would Jesus do if he were without papers in the United States of America?

I asked myself this question after talking to a young man born in Mexico, with a fuzzy beard and a soft innocence about him. He had told me that his name was Jesus. He caught my attention because he was wearing a blue T-shirt with the following words imprinted in white across the chest: “I AM UN.DOC.U.MENT.ED.”


It’s Time for the Candidates to Get Specific on the Homeownership Crisis

Now that the presidential tickets are set, it’s time for the candidates to get specific about problems and solutions critical to our economic recovery and future prosperity. Along with job creation, they should start with Home Opportunity—the cluster of housing, homeownership, and fair lending issues that are so central to the American promise of opportunity for all.


Changing Stereotypes in Wake of Tragedy


The Opportunity Agenda hosted the panel "Learning from Trayvon." Photo courtesy of Ivy Ashe/The Vineyard Gazette

By Katie Ruppel  

Read original article here (PDF)

Music videos, movies, the Internet and the news have embedded the stereotypes of African American men as dangerous and violent in society, said the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee, at a forum on Friday afternoon.

“If we look at media in general and live off of what the mass media serves up about black men, you might arrive on the Vineyard in particular and think you are on another planet,” Mrs. Lee said in her opening remarks. “What do I mean by that? On the Vineyard you see black fathers with their children and their wives. And wait for it... they have jobs. This is not the impression that you get from media day-to-day in America.”


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