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Undesign the Redline
August - September DML Magazine
Free Meals Program

Learn the history. Understand the stories.
Transform your community.

Why are communities like Dayton so often racially segregated? How did our neighborhoods form the way they did? And how does this affect employment, education, policing, health care, and other aspects of life?

Undesign the Redline is an important, visually compelling exhibit that traces the tangled roots of governmental policies to the social issues we face today. Undesign the Redline ignites discussion about race, wealth, opportunity, and power, with the goal of transforming the future.

  • Learn the history, make the connections, and understand the stories.
  • Place yourself on the map, literally and figuratively. Have you been disadvantaged? Or have you benefitted?
  • Discover actionable opportunities to make a difference in creating a more equitable future.
About Redlining

Redlining maps were introduced in the 1930s to show risk areas for federal funding of home ownership programs. These maps showed areas that were prime for investment, and areas where no money would be lent. The neighborhoods where no investment would be made were outlined in red, literally “redlined.”

Race was the primary factor in determining where these zones were drawn. Residents of these areas were often unable to access housing loans, mortgages, and other financial services. Left with fewer housing and employment opportunities, shrinking tax bases in these areas also led to insufficient public services and concentrated poverty.

Meanwhile, investment poured into rapidly expanding, whiter suburbs. Owning property enabled families in these communities to accrue wealth over time, while also accessing better-funded schools, jobs and healthcare.

Redlining is how structural racism was designed into cities - a practice which continued legally into the 1970s, and continues to have ramifications today.

Ways to Experience and Participate in Undesign the Redline

  • Visit

    This exhibit will be open for self-guided visits, or individuals can register (required) for a free guided tour. Group Tours (10+) can be scheduled by calling 937.463.2665.

  • Field Trips

    Engage students in transformative learning. Educators should reach out now to schedule field trips. Funding may be available to assist with transportation.

  • Host

    Schedule your group's next meeting at the Main Library, experience the exhibit with an informative docent, and use it as a framework for learning and transformation.

  • Programs + Resources

    Experience the exhibit to its fullest with companion programs, reading lists, TedTalks, and more.

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