Health Department Expands “Undesign The Redline” Show To East Harlem And Other Action Centers

October 12, 2018

The Health Department’s Center for Health Equity, in partnership with the social impact studio Designing the WE, today announced the expansion of the exhibit Undesign the Redline to the Brownsville, Brooklyn and East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Centers. Undesign the Redline opened last January at the Bronx Action Center. The exhibit explores New York City’s history of redlining – a housing policy which began in the 1930s when the U.S. government drew maps to decide which neighborhoods in cities were too risky for mortgage loans. On the maps, areas whose residents were predominately people of color and recent immigrants, or neighborhoods with the potential for integration, were outlined in red. These neighborhoods were then systematically deprived of resources. The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, at the East Harlem and Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center through December 2018. Guided tours will be available during visiting hours Tuesdays through Saturdays. To sign up for tours at the Brownsville Action Center click here.

The Brownsville and East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Centers are located in areas that were redlined when the maps were drawn decades ago. Undesign the Redline provides a historical context on how generations have been impacted by this racist government policy. The exhibit explores the history of redlining through interactive maps, timelines, and personal stories. It also highlights current social movements and community organizations working to “undesign” the racist legacy and invites the public to share ideas.

“We are proud to show the Undesign the Redline exhibit at the Brownsville and East Harlem Action Centers, both neighborhoods with a long history of disinvestment because of policies like redlining,” says Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Viewing this exhibit brings residents together to better understand the history of racist policies and how they impact our health outcomes today.”

“As we activate these spaces, it is critical to use artful and interactive ways to communicate what really creates health in our neighborhoods. The East Harlem and Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Centers are key places for people of all ages to learn about the history, policy, and the effects of structural racism on health,” said Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner and Director of the Center for Health Equity.

For more information on the Center for Health Equity, visit Center for Health Equity.

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