Help us make gardening a part of every school curriculum. Just share a picture of your growing Back to the Roots garden on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (tag @BacktotheRoots and #GrowOneGiveOne) and we'll donate an organic grow kit + STEM curriculum to an elementary school classroom of your choice! (schools/classrooms limited to U.S. locations at this time). Fill out the simple form below after you've shared your photo to let us know to which school we should send your donation kit.
Note: Due to Covid-19 and school closures, we will be pausing all donation shipments till further notice. Please still submit your chosen classroom below, and we'll ship the donation out when schools reopen.
Step 1: Explore your neighborhood's school rankings for equity
Search your neighborhood here to find the most underfunded schools in your area (Filter by Equity or Low-Income Rankings)
Step 2: Choose a school to send your donation to
Select a school to donate a gardening kit + curriculum to and fill out the form below with their address (if you have a teacher mind, enter it, if not we'll send it to the Principal to choose a classroom)
Step 3: Learn
Below the form, learn about the history of redlining and how it directly ties to school funding today in your neighborhood
*Please note: One Water Garden will be chosen at random for donation every month.
Learn About Redlining and Its Impact on School Funding Today
Snapshot: What is redlining and what does it have to do with school funding?
Redlining refers to the systematic way the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) barred Black people from securing housing loans from the 1930s-1960s. The FHA created color-coded maps that recommended lending readiness. Homes in majority Black neighborhoods were marked in red. This essentially insured that Black homeowners would not be approved for official bank mortgages. The impact of this reinforcement of segregation can still be seen today, as decades of lower property values and a widening racial wealth gap lead to lower property taxes and insufficiently funded schools.
Explore Your Region’s Relined Neighborhoods & Correlation to Today
Find your neighborhood in these 1930s maps to explore the effects of redlining on your region today. Notice any correlations between these maps from nearly 90 years ago and impoverished and underfunded schools today?
Deep-Dive into Redlining:
Redlining refers to the systematic way the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) barred Black people from securing housing loans from the 1930s-1960s. The FHA created color-coded maps that recommended lending readiness. Homes in majority Black neighborhoods were marked in red. This essentially insured that Black homeowners would not be approved for official bank mortgages. They instead were forced to buy “on contract,” a predatory lending practice where white buyers sold homes to Black buyers at terribly inflated rates. These contract buyers had all the financial responsibilities of a homebuyer, the lack of ownership of a renter, with none of the benefits of either. Many Black folks lost their homes this way, forfeiting their non-refundable deposits and all the payments they had made. Although redlining was outlawed by the Fair Housing Act in 1968, there are still reports of redlining from banks today. Redlining greatly contributed to the wealth gap between Black and White families (The average White family has a net worth of nearly 10x that of the average Black family) and further entrenched segregation.
Resources to Learn More:
The Segregation Myth: Richard Rothstein Debunks an American Lie | NowThis
How Educators Can Break Cycles of Redlined Segregation
Inside the Contract Buyers League’s fight against housing discrimination by Mary Lou Finley:
The history of the Contract Buyers League’s fight for housing reparations.
The Unfulfilled Promise of Fair Housing by Abdallah Fayyad: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/the-unfulfilled-promise-of-fair-housing/557009/
An analysis of the history and present of housing segregation in the US.
Examining The Black-White Wealth Gap by Kriston McIntosh, Emily Moss, Ryan Nunn, and Jay Shambaugh:
A thorough look at the huge wealth gap between Black and White Americans.
What school segregation looks like in the US today, in 4 charts by Ericka Frankenburg:
The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/
A comprehensive history of Blackness in America, the wealth gap, Redlining, and the ongoing ramifications of slavery that add up to a compelling argument for a study of reparations.
White Students Get More K-12 Funding Than Students of Color: Report by Lauren Camera: