There are around 8,000 racial covenants still attached to properties in the city of Minneapolis. Since implementing Just Deeds in 2021, a free legal service that assists property owners in removing racial covenants from their deeds, only 733 racist covenants have been discharged, according to a recent article from the Star Tribune. The city is encouraging more residents to partake in this program and remove these covenants.
Racial covenants were placed on properties throughout the city and metro area between 1910 and 1955 to restrict homeownership by non-White people. It has been illegal to enforce racial covenants since 1968, but many of them remained attached to the properties. We have inherited this history that wrote racism into the documents of our neighborhoods.
LCC has absorbed the work of Free the Deeds, a program started by local artists to educate and inform people about racial covenants and help them start the process of removal with Just Deeds. We help them find out if they have a covenant on their property and help fill out the application for removal, which goes on to the city attorney’s office.
There are 1,111 racial covenants in Greater Longfellow alone. We are looking for volunteers to help spread the word about these covenants and why their removal is important to creating an environment of equity in our community.
Get involved in Free the Deeds and learn the stories of families impacted by redlining and think about the ways your actions can make change and be a part of erasing racial covenants and writing a new future for your block, your neighborhood, and our city of Minneapolis, one deed at a time.
We’re hosting several training sessions to help prepare participants to door knock, table, and talk with neighbors about how they can erase racial covenants in our neighborhood. These sessions are in-person and on Zoom. Register for these on our website: longfellow.org/events. Any questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Monday, Feb. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, March 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
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