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S2 BONUS: The Myth of De Facto Segregation

It’s been a convenient diversion from the truth that’s been told since Reconstruction - that the segregation we’ve seen and continue to see in America is just the effects of private individual biases and incidents of discrimination, rather than codified in law. But, when we look at the facts, that myth breaks down pretty quickly with the abundant examples of policies in local, state, and federal government across the country that explicitly discriminated against African Americans.

In this bonus episode, Richard Rothstein and Shirley Franklin, former Executive Board Chair of Purpose Built Communities discuss the history and myth of de facto segregation in America - and what it will take to reverse the toxic effects of that history.



Richard Rothstein

Distinguished Fellow, Economic Policy Institute

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow, emeritus, at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. The book recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008); Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black–White Achievement Gap (2004); and The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (co-authored in 2003).

Shirley Franklin

Former Executive Board Chair for Purpose Built Communities

Shirley C. Franklin, former Executive Board Chair for Purpose Built Communities and former Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. She was elected the first African American woman mayor of a major southern city in 2002 and served two-terms as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia until 2009. The mayor is term limited in Atlanta. Upon leaving office, she was appointed to an Endowed Chair at Spelman College and served until June 2011.

During her eight years, the city experienced unprecedented growth and afforded Franklin the opportunity to partner and collaborate with many local and regional leaders in addressing policy challenges, which included urban planning, economic development and infrastructure. She is best known for advocating for and tackling major government operations and ethics reform, launching the Atlanta Beltline, planning and executing over $5 billion in airport and water infrastructure improvements, leading the acquisition of the Morehouse College Collection of Martin Luther King Jr. Papers, launching the Regional Commission on Homelessness and developing successful business and public sector partnerships and alliances. Aside from her role as a public official, her community service spans nearly 40 years in Atlanta and includes her active participation in the arts, homelessness and higher education.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mueller Water Products and her civic engagement includes her service as Chairman of the board of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and as a board member of the Volcker Alliance and the CDC Foundation (Centers for Disease Prevention and Health Prevention). She is a former member of the Delta Airlines Board of Directors.

Franklin co chaired the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and the DNC Platform Committee for the 2016 Convention. During her mayoral term she was an active member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Franklin is a frequent speaker and subject matter expert on leadership, public policy and community engagement having served over three decades as an executive in government and business. She counts Ambassador Andrew Young and former mayor Maynard Jackson among her most important professional mentors having served as an executive in their mayoral administrations.

Born and reared in Philadelphia, educated at Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin has lived with her family in Atlanta since 1972.


Alexandra Wiggins

Community Development Associate, Purpose Built Communities

Alexandra Wiggins supports current Network Members and assists new prospects as a Community Development Advisor for Purpose Built Communities. Alex is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center where she received her Juris Doctor as well as a Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law.

This is Community is created in partnership with HL Strategy. Our executive producers are Eytan Davidson, Howard Lalli, and Sherry Crawley. Our producer, director, and editor is Brady Hummel. Mixing and mastering is by Matt Honkonen, and our music is from Pitchwire.