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This event has been postponed. 

We plan to reschedule this event and will provide more information in May. If you are already registered for “Looking Back to Move Forward,” you will remain registered and will automatically receive notifications about the new date. You will also receive an email explaining how to refund your ticket if you wish.  

In his book
The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein reflects on the legacy of the Fair Housing Act of 1968: “You might think that fifty years would be long enough to erase the effects of government promotion of and support for segregation. But the public policies of yesterday still shape the racial landscape today.” Today, the Twin Cities are grappling with an unprecedented housing crisis, which disproportionately affects BIPOC communities. We must ask: How did we get here? How can a shared understanding of history help us carve a better path forward?  

Join us for this local conversation between public historians and housing justice practitioners, moderated by Chanda Smith Baker.


David Hewitt

David Hewitt, Director of Office to End Homelessness and Hennepin CountyDavid Hewitt has worked in the non-profit and public sector for nineteen years across the United Kingdom, Cambodia and, now, Minnesota. Before leaving his hometown of London, David designed and managed a national housing program that helped more than 8,000 people move into private rented accommodation over a three year period. In Cambodia he worked with an international award-winning non-profit that engaged, empowered and educated youth who were living and working on the streets of Phnom Penh. He is now the Director of the Office to End Homelessness for Hennepin County and responsible for the County’s efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

Denise Pike

Denise Pike, Project Manager for Minnesota Transform and Project Co-Lead with A Public History of 35W

Denise Pike works at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Advanced Study as project manager for Minnesota Transform and is Co-Lead of A Public History of 35W. Denise designed and teaches the Racism and Real Estate continuing education course through RETHOS: Places Reimagined. She is a public historian dedicated to linking inequalities in our present day with evidence of historical injustice. Her research interests and past work include the intersection of data, mapping, race, power, and urban history to address today’s disparities. She received a Master’s in Heritage Studies and Public History and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Kirsten Delegard

Kirsten Delegard, Project Director for Mapping PrejudiceKirsten Delegard is the Director and one of the co-founders of the Mapping Prejudice Project, which is located in the Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota. Kirsten is a third generation Minneapolitan and public historian. To explore the complex history of her hometown, she established Mapping Prejudice as well as the Historyapolis Project. She is a graduate of the Minneapolis Public Schools and Wesleyan University. She also holds a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, where she spent her graduate school years exploring American social movements, comparative women’s history and the history of women and politics in the United States.

Shannon Smith Jones

Shannon Smith Jones is a visionary and strategic leader with a passion for valuing and dignifying the work of community members. Shannon serves as the executive director of Hope Community, a cutting-edge organization that values housing as a stabilizing force in community and demonstrated the value of community engagement long before it was an established practice in the field. She has more than 15 years of experience in community development, affordable housing development, community engagement, and housing justice. With her deep commitment to community voice and asset-based frameworks, she has quickly become a leader in the anti-displacement field.

Tyra Thomas

Tyra Thomas of Street Voices of ChangeTyra Thomas is a leader of Street Voices of Change and a member of The Homes4All Task Force currently championing the Street Voices of Change Shelter Residents Bill of Rights at the Legislature. Having personal experience of homelessness, she is a passionate advocate for the rights of the sheltered and unsheltered, and for a variety of solutions to our housing crisis. A former resident of South Minneapolis, Tyra now resides in the suburbs, but remembers fondly her childhood experiences in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood.


Chanda Smith Baker

Chanda Smith Baker, Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President, Minneapolis FoundationChanda Smith Baker has more than 20 years of experience working in, for, and with underestimated communities. At the Minneapolis Foundation, which she joined in 2017, Chanda oversees grantmaking programs, provides strategic direction to community initiatives and partnerships, and is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast Conversations with Chanda. Previously, Chanda spent 17 years at Pillsbury United Communities, a complex community-based nonprofit where she served in a variety of leadership positions before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2011.

Hosts and sponsors

Logos for Alliance Housing, Plymouth Congregational Church, Align Mpls, and Hennepin History Musuem

This event is hosted by Hennepin History Museum, Plymouth Congregational Church, Alliance Housing Incorporated, and Align Minneapolis. It is sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation and the Pohlad Family Foundation.

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