We need your help to map racial covenants. We are relying on volunteers to read deeds and create the database we need to plot these covenants.
We have employed optical character recognition (ORC) to identity over 30,000 property deeds containing racial language in Hennepin County. But computers can only do some of the work. We need humans to examine the text flagged by the computer and answer a series of questions.
We are using a digital platform that allows community members to contribute to this research. Sign on to our Zooniverse project page from any computer with an internet connection. You will see an image of a deed and a series of questions. We are asking volunteers to scan the deed and enter some data. Each document takes no more than a few minutes to examine. The information that you enter will then be exported to our database and used to finish our map of racial restrictions.
The Mapping Prejudice Project wants to hear your stories. If you have memories about life in Minneapolis and its suburbs, we want to hear them. Have you encountered covenants and redlining? How do you think race has shaped Minneapolis and its suburbs? How has segregation affected your life, your family and your future? Can you describe life in the neighborhoods created by covenants? Over the next several years, we would like to develop a collection of personal stories that can illuminate how covenants and other discriminatory housing practices shaped life in Minneapolis and its suburbs.