Initial Publication Date: November 11, 2019

Redlining Education and Change Coalition

Wittenberg Leadership

Sarah Fortner, Geology

Rick Incorvati, English

Julius Bailey, Philosophy

Nancy McHugh, Philosophy

photo credit: Elena Dahl, Art

Redlining Education and Change Coalition in Springfield, Ohio

Redlining is the unethical practice of creating systems, structures, and policies that leads to disinvestment in marginalized people, perpetuating inequities by race and class. For example, the Home Owner's Loan Corporation established Residential Security maps in Springfield and many other communities that identified high risk zones for investments. Areas that were "redlined" and determined hazardous were predominantly determined by racist factors. Modern policies and community development practices can perpetuate redlining, or continued disinvestment by race and class. The Springfield, Ohio Redlining Education and Change Coalition has three goals. First, we strive to raise awareness of the structures and practices that have resulted in racial inequities and injustices in Springfield, Ohio. This includes redlining, racial covenants, and other examples of policies and practices of systemic oppression that have perpetuated racism and a social chasm. Second, starting from the perspective of community members, including churches, schools, health partners, and community leaders we will partner on efforts to repair breaches (i.e. addressing inequities). Third, we will collaboratively conduct research and generate resources that support kids, health, environmental, and community planning and implementation efforts. Our goals reflect our individual and collective motivation to advancing equity and justice. We commit to listening and then doing the work. Engagement is central to making our campus more inclusive to students and Springfield.

For more background on how the Home Owner's Loan Corporation designated neighborhood risk by race and environmental hazards perpetuating inequities see: Mapping Inequality.

Strategies to Accomplish Goals

  1. Incorporate redlining into our curriculum, programming, and/or service and share examples with faculty and the community.
  2. Develop individual connections to partners in the community working on racial healing and justice through our curriculum, programming, and service.
  3. Connect across campus in ways that help our students see the transdisciplinary needs of justice work and us learn and work together.
  4. Ask community partners and community members most engaged in work that advances racial equity, justice, and healing what their central interests are so that we might better help.
  5. Listen and learn from underrepresented students and incorporate diverse and community relevant perspectives in our courses.
  6. Meet every semester to move our work from individual partnering to collective action around key areas of need.

Community Input »

What We're Up To

Campus Team

  • Lori Askeland, English, Wittenberg University
  • Julius Bailey, Philosophy, Wittenberg University
  • Rob Baker, Political Science, Wittenberg University
  • Marie Bashaw, Wittenberg University
  • Amber Burgett, Biology, Wittenberg University
  • Sheryl Cunningham, Communication, Wittenberg University
  • Elena Dahl, Art, Wittenberg University
  • Sarah Fortner, Geology & Environmental Science, Wittenberg University
  • Rick Incorvati, English, Wittenberg University
  • Nancy McHugh, Philosophy, Wittenberg, University
  • Joshua Moore, Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion, Wittenberg University
  • Travis Proctor, Religion, Wittenberg University
  • Brooke Wagner, Sociology, Wittenberg University

Project Partners


City of Springfield, 2018, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (Acrobat (PDF) 2.2MB Nov24 19)

Alliance Workspace »

2020-2021 Activities

We will define early success around engaging with our students, the community, and broader circles beyond Springfield. We plan to move toward collective action to and identifying new goals for advocacy, policy, and community engagement that are established by the communities we must work more deeply in to truly address challenges associated with redlining.

  • Christ Episcopal Church continued to host the Becoming a Beloved Community virtually during the pandemic. Rick Incorvati co-led programming efforts (Summer & Fall 2019, Spring 2020).
  • Sarah Fortner and Amy McGuffey partnered with Agraria, Springfield Ohio Plantfolk, and Central State on a USDA grant ($400,000) to fund the purchase and educational programming at the McCain Acres community garden.
  • Environmental Science Research Methods mapped lead in Children's Equity Zones in collaboration with Adam Brown, founding Board Member of The Conscious Connect.  
  • Nancy McHugh is collaborating with ThinkTV on a redlining documentary featuring the Miami Valley that is already engaging students in background research. 
  • Sheryl Cunnigham incorporated the Springfield Lead Case Study on redlining and lead and environmental injustice into her Environmental Communication Course
  • Julius Bailey hosted Amplifying Whispers a series featuring faculty exploring environmental racism that engaged many faculty and partners in RECC
  • Lori Askeland and Ed Hasecke worked with the City of Springfield Community Development office to host a community anti-racism reading series with reflection activities. 
  • Marie Bashaw engaged nursing students in COVID-19 community response including contact tracing.  


See past academic year activities:

2019-2020 Activities

Ongoing & Future Engagement

  • Lori Askeland (English) has routinely addressed redlining as part of a key project in her ENGL 101 (College Writing and Research) and ENGL 290 (American Literary Genealogies) courses. She is eager to revise these courses to include Springfield-specific content related to this topic
  • Rob Baker's Urban Politics course are exploring the role of the federal government in promoting bank redlining under the National House Act, and the subsequent creation of what is referred to in the literature as "the segregated metropolis." To this end, the long –term impacts of this legally-sanctioned discrimination is a key topic for study and research in that class. Efforts to remediate the negative impacts of these policies have included the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 and its subsequent amendments, rulemakings, and implementation. How local financial institutions have tried to meet their CRA responsibilities is of particular relevance to where substandard housing, and its associated externalities such as lead paint and lead-infused soil, exists in Springfield largely as a result of historical redlining practices.
  • Travis Proctor (Religion) will connect his academic interests (environmental humanities & justice) to local communities. He's learning from RECC and finding new ways that his teaching and research can have "real-world" impacts in the communities that he and his students call home.

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