Interfaith Action Network Monthly
May 2019

Ready, Set, Action
Spring is finally here, and after a lot of hard work, some of the seeds of fair housing justice have come to full bloom! FHJC has been abuzz with several exciting legislative announcements, interesting events, and a major legal settlement.

Check out the latest updates below, and learn more about some upcoming opportunities to further engage with this work.
Below are some educational resources we recommend for you to learn more about fair housing.

  • We have two new book recommendations this month. The first is “A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black America” by Lance Freeman. This book explores the paradox of black urban neighborhoods which have suffered from institutional racism and economic neglect, but which have also been places of refuge and community. Learn more HERE.

  • We are also recommending “The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle Outside of the South” edited by Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis, with Komozi Woodard. This collection of twelve original essays examines the notion that American racism actually originated in the liberal North. The editors see Jim Crow not as a regional sickness, but as a national cancer. Learn more HERE.
Time to get out and advocate in your community! Below are some advocacy updates and ways that you can get involved.

  • April is Fair Housing Month, a time when we celebrate the Fair Housing Act and recommit ourselves to ensuring every American has access to housing that is free from discrimination. This past April saw passage of the Lawful Source of Income Anti-Discrimination Act of 2019, enacted in Albany as part of the New York State budget. This legislation, supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, finally makes it illegal to discriminate against households based on their source of income or their use of a rental subsidy. The new law adds source of income as a protected characteristic to the State Human Rights Law, providing uniform protection statewide, with the only exemption being for owner-occupied dwellings of two units or less. Read more about passage of the new law HERE.

  • Think fair housing organizations and individual advocates don’t stand a chance against giant corporate tech behemoths? Think again! The Fair Housing Justice Center recently announced the historic settlement of a suit brought by FHJC and three other fair housing organizations against Facebook for its biased advertising practices. Systemic testing showed that Facebook’s advertising platform enabled housing providers to filter their target audience by sex, family status, disability, and other protected characteristics – a clear violation of fair housing laws. Facebook denied the allegations, but agreed to restructure their advertising platform. A separate portal will now be created for housing, employment and credit ads, restricting the advertisers’ ability to exclude potential customers. The settlement agreement also includes $1,950,000 in monetary relief along with a $500,000 advertising credit for use by all four organizations in promoting fair housing on Facebook. Read more about the wide-ranging settlement HERE, and know that organized advocacy makes a real difference!

  • Wondering how you can advance fair housing in your community? Check out our list of 30 Ways to Advance Fair Housing HERE.
Building the Beloved Community
Want to get involved in the Building the Beloved Community interfaith initiative in some other way? Below are some updates from our interfaith initiative:

  • Calling all NYC youth! Are you sick and tired of New York schools being among the country’s most segregated? Do you want to be a part of a movement that’s fighting for fairness? Do you like secret afterschool parties? IntegrateNYC is a youth-led organization that stands for integration and equity in New York City schools, and they’re hosting #RetireSegregation to mark the 65th anniversary of the historic Brown v. board of Ed decision. The event is Friday May 17th, at a SECRET LOCATION. Register HERE to learn more. Because 65 years is enough!

  • And while we’re on the subject of school segregation: A new bill has just been introduced in congress – The Strength in Diversity Act. Senators Chris Murphy (CT) and Representative Marcia Fudge (OH) are the lead co-sponsors of the bill, which creates a federal grant program to support voluntary, community-driven strategies to increase diversity in schools. Read the official press release HERE.

“If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege.”

Bell Hooks
Fair Housing Justice Center | 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Long Island City, NY 11101
| (212) 400 - 8201 | (212) 400 - 8203 |