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Justice InDeed: Exposing and Addressing Racially Restrictive Covenants in Washtenaw County

Collaborators: Michael Steinberg (Law School), Justin Schell (UM Library), Matthew Countryman (DAAS), and Claire Zimmerman (Taubman College).

Student Researchers: Susan Fleurant, Nina Gerdes, Alex Nichols, Laura Durand, Grace Stephan, Bailey Sullivan, and Soyoon Ryu, Liza Davis, Camelia Metwally, Dianne Kee, Hannah Greenhouse, David Fegley, Will Brodt, Brendan Flynn, and Miguel Ceballo-Countryman.

Community Stakeholders: Rev. Mashod Evans (Bethel AME Church), Rev. Rodney Green (New Hope Baptist Church), William Hampton (Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP), Joyce Hunter (African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County), Jessica Letaw (Building Matters), Delphia Simpson (Washtenaw County Public Defender), Dwight Wilson (Author and Educator).

Justice InDeed is a collaborative project dedicated to exposing and responding to the fact that the deeds to thousands of homes in Washtenaw County contain “racially restrictive covenants” – or provisions prohibiting Black people and other minorities from living there. As a group of researchers, students, residents, and community activists, we are working to: educate the community about the role these covenants and other racist housing policies played in causing segregation and economic inequality, repeal the covenants, and encourage the adoption of policies to repair the damage caused by systemic housing discrimination in Washtenaw County.

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