Undesign the Redline Gains Momentum

Our Work Has Only Just Begun

Undesign the Redline Gains Momentum

Like many of you, the PCHTF has had to adjust quickly to these changing times. Prior to March 15 over 1,200 people toured our exhibit at Franklin Junior High, with staff facilitating 4-8 per week. When the physical exhibit was suspended due to Covid-19 precautions we quickly transitioned to virtual exhibit tours using Zoom Video Conferencing. Between April 2nd and May 31st, PCHTF staff conducted over 25 tours to community organizations and businesses including the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa American Planners Association (APA), Des Moines Association of Realtors, Bankers Trust, Corteva Agriscience, and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation. 

In the midst of rising calls for racial justice across the country, we began to see increased interest in the exhibit in the last week of May with registrations increasing by 100%. In response to this interest, we transitioned our weekly public Zoom tours to Facebook Live events broadcasted from the exhibit space beginning on June 3rd. The response to these events has been outstanding. In the past two weeks, these tours have been viewed by over 6,000 people. Additionally, our posts on the subject have reached over 40,000 people in the past month. 

Over the past week, we have been happy to see this issue picked up by our local media outlets. 

Des Moines Register: Redlining: How racist policy from a 1930s program has left scars still visible in today’s Des Moines

Business Record: The Elbert Files: Racial scar left by the freeway

InnovationIOWA: After rebuilding historic Des Moines from the data, Undesign: DSM jumps to virtual tours for the public

When we unveiled this exhibit in January, we could have never imagined the reach and reception that we have garnered in the past six months. While we are excited about the progress we’ve made, we understand that this work has only just begun. Learn more about Des Moines’ housing justice story at www.undesigndsm.com