Skip to main content

Service Alert

The Anacostia Library will be closed from Monday, July 22 - Sunday, Aug. 4 for a scheduled facilities project. Learn more on the Anacostia Library page.

Undesign the Red Line Web Graphic

This interactive exhibit explores the history of structural racism caused by the 1938 redlining maps and how this inequality continues to impact our communities today, focusing on the ways in which we can come together to “undesign” these systems with intentionality. Systemic challenges today, like inequalities in housing, education, income, criminal justice, and health are far from separate issues. Tthese challenges are rooted in a deep and entangled history of policies, practices, and processes that remain hidden and misunderstood.  Undesign the Redline explores these challenges, reframes them as opportunities, and grounds discussions about race, wealth, opportunity, and power in an honest context that is not about guilt and blame.  

Undesign the Redline is:

  • An interactive exhibit, created by Designing the We, that explains the history of redlining–the explicit devaluation of residential areas based on race–and other, once legal policies that denied Blacks residents and other people of color access to homeownership in upper Northwest DC and nationwide
  • An exploration of how segregated communities developed in the 20th century and the residual, lasting effect of redlining and other public policies: racial inequity
  • A catalyst for change that invites visitors to learn, share, and take action to dismantle systemic discrimination

    This exhibition is brought to the Cleveland Park Public Library by a volunteer Planning Committee with sponsorship by St. Columba's Episcopal Church. The exhibit is open during regular library hours. Optional guided tours are available: Wednesdays at 10:30am, Thursdays at 1:30pm, Sundays at 1:30pm. Contact Bill Jensen at if you would like to arrange a private tour for your group.

For more information, please visit