Racial Justice in the Housing Rights Movement
The National Housing Law Project is very happy to announce that we will be hosting a discussion on advancing racial justice in the housing movement.
Demetria McCain has been with the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) since its inception and presently serves as its president. ICP is a Dallas-based nonprofit that works for the creation and maintenance of thriving racially and economically inclusive communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families, and redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation. Conceived by Demetria, ICP’s “Voices for Opportunity” initiative provides advocacy training for low-income renters and neighborhood groups fighting for fair housing and neighborhood equity.
Previously, Demetria worked as staff attorney at the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in southeast Washington, D.C. and as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and staff attorney at the National Housing Law Project. As an adjunct instructor at Coppin State University, Demetria teaches “Fair Housing and Homelessness” to upper level undergraduate students. She is the recipient of the 2015 Texas Houser Award and a sought after panelist and commenter on issues related to fair housing. She actively volunteers through her Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., her church and other organizations. Demetria serves on the boards of the North Texas Fair Housing Center and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. And, she is delighted to join the National Housing Law Project’s board this year. Demetria is a graduate of Howard University School of Law.
Rasheedah Phillips currently serves as the Managing Attorney of Housing Policy at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. She began her career at CLS in 2008 in the Community Economic Development Unit, providing legal advice, representation, and engaging in community lawyering on behalf of small childcare for profit and non-profit organizations. She has trained on racial justice and housing law issues and skills throughout the country, previously serving as the Senior Advocate Resources & Training Attorney at Shriver Center on Poverty Law. Rasheedah is the recipient of the 2017 National Housing Law Project Housing Justice Award, the 2017 City & State Pennsylvania 40 Under 40 Rising Star Award, the 2018 Temple University Black Law Student Association Alumni Award, the 2018 CLS Equal Justice Award, and the 2019 Barristers Association of Philadelphia Outstanding Young Attorney Award. She is a 2016 Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute Fellow, 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, 2020 Givelber Distinguished Public Interest Lecturer, and recently awarded a research fellowship with Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School. Phillips is a 2008 graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, and 2005 graduate of Temple University.
Tara Raghuveer is the director of KC Tenants. She is also the director of the campaign for a national Homes Guarantee, based at People’s Action, a national network of grassroots organizations committed to economic and racial justice. KC Tenants, founded in February 2019, has built a base of 250+ tenants who have held landlords accountable, made housing a central issue in municipal politics, and written and passed a municipal Tenants Bill of Rights. For seven years, Tara has spearheaded eviction research in Kansas City through the Kansas City Eviction Project, a collaborative of data scientists, community leaders, academics, and lawyers. Tara cut her teeth organizing in the immigrant rights movement. Tara’s research on eviction and poverty in Kansas City is cited in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted. She is an Australian-born, Indian-American immigrant who came to the US with her family in 1995 and grew up in Kansas City.
If you didn’t have a chance to join us, you can see the recording here.
Other resources from the discussion:
Video and story of Tiana Caldwell that Tara mentioned:
Resources on Community Lawyering (more to come!)
“Readings on Community Lawyering” from Land Use Prof Blog
“Making the Case for Community Lawyering” from Bread for the City