Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Film screening, discussion to address subject of housing inequality

“Segregated by Design” will be screened next week at the Historic Harrisburg Association Resource Center.

Next Tuesday, it’ll be movie night at the Historic Harrisburg Association, though one with a serious issue at its core.

The Pennsylvania Downtown Center, in collaboration with HHA, is hosting a screening of “Segregated by Design,” a documentary about the historic housing inequalities that African Americans have faced.

“We are trying to be more aware of diversity, equality and inclusion,” said PA Downtown Center Executive Director Julie Fitzpatrick. “This is an issue we are all dealing with.”

The film comes from award-winning director Mark Lopez and draws inspiration from author Richard Rothstein’s book “The Color of Law.” Rothstein made an appearance at Midtown Scholar Bookstore for a reading last March.

Although only a short, 30-minute film, “Segregated by Design” tackles many big topics. It brings up issues from the past, such as redlining and blockbusting, methods used to segregate communities, and shows how they still affect neighborhoods today.

Following the screening will be refreshments and a facilitated discussion amongst attendees, including local realtor Beck Joyner, who is heading up the East Uptown Front Porch Project, and Elm Street project manager Samantha Pearson. Both women are active in community revitalization in the Harrisburg area and statewide.

According to Fitzpatrick, the Downtown Center plans to do more events like this.

“It’s always a great thing when you can bring people together in conversation around a common goal,” she said.

The event is free and open to the public, though registration is encouraged.

Historic Harrisburg Association is located at 1230 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. For more information on the Pennsylvania Downtown Center or to register for the screening, visit their website.

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