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Leading housing policy authority featured at Dome Talks

Rothstein’s book The Color of Law documents the drivers of residential segregation in America

Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, is the featured Dome Talks speaker on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the San Bernardino County Museum.

Rothstein, a former New York Times columnist, is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley. The Color of Law expands upon and provides a national perspective on his recent work that documents the history of state-sponsored residential segregation, as in his report, “The Making of Ferguson.”

The book examines the common misperception that divisions in communities were primarily the result of individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Starting in the 1920s, during a time when millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north, The Color of Law investigates and exposes the laws and policy decisions — some now forgotten or rescinded — passed by local, state, and federal governments that actually promoted discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Museum Director Melissa Russo remarked “the topic of segregation, and how we got there, is a significant historical topic for our region, and a timely one as policies around housing continue to evolve today. By hosting a speaker like Richard Rothstein, the museum can play a unique role in helping to interpret and define this history and how it applies to the Inland Empire, in order to engender conversations and policies that help shape future decisions.”

All Dome Talks evenings open at 6:30 p.m. for a light reception sponsored by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Rothstein’s talk starts at 7 p.m. and will include sales of his book and signing.

Tickets for the evening are $25 ($18 museum members), subject to availability as the Dome Talks theater has limited seating. Tickets can be purchased online at www.sbcounty.gov/museum or may be purchased at the Museum’s Guest Services Desk.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional, cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Parking for Dome Talks is free. For more information, visit www.sbcounty.gov/museum. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

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