BX exhibit highlights past, current effects of 'redlining'

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THE BRONX -

A new Bronx exhibit is taking a look at how federal policies have slighted communities of color, with the goal of creating a more effective system for all.

The policy of “redlining” took place during the 1930s, according to city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. Certain neighborhoods were outlined in red to separate them from others deemed “worthy” of mortgage lending for homebuyers.

"These were largely neighborhoods that were African-American, immigrants," says Bassett. "This architecture that was put in place by racist government policy is still reflected on our city today."

Private banks practiced the policy as well until it was outlawed in 1968. But city officials say redlining's health disadvantages are still reflected today. 

"We know from studying health outcomes in the city, that different kinds of illnesses and diseases crop up in different neighborhoods," says Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Jane Bedell. "That's really the result of the way those neighborhoods were designed."

The object of the exhibit is to motivate people to think differently about their health. Its creators want community members to figure out what their areas need to be healthier.

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