New Rochelle Housing Discrimination
Faculty Advisor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna is a 2022 NU graduate from Scarsdale, New York, majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Political Science and Business Institutions. As an undergraduate, Anna served as the Director of the Global Engagement Summit, a student-run conference that brings together young entrepreneurs from around the world to further their social-impact ventures. With interests in academic research and public policy, Anna also assisted the Northwestern’s Deportation Research Center before accepting a Leopold Fellowship to assess airline regulation as a site for mobilization around issues of race and apartheid, disability, and the environment. Next year, Anna is excited to advance her understanding of local government as a NYC Urban Fellow. She hopes that this fellowship will provide the training and resources to ultimately excel as an attorney protecting underserved communities and fostering a climate of radical empathy and respect.
This thesis explores how lawmakers involved in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 sanctioned segregationist agendas in New
Rochelle, New York by implementing Interstate 95. This work considers planning documents from the Westchester Historical
Society Archives, Census Bureau data, and newspaper articles from the early-mid 20th century to determine how national planners
neglected the concerns of low-income, minority neighborhoods in order to protect white spaces in Westchester County. Moreover, I
argue that by excluding marginalized voices from critical decision-making and supplying states with excessive discretion, Congress
authorized a physical realization of the racialized norms established in the United States decades earlier.
Last year, I worked with Professor Grisinger as a Leopold Fellow examining airline regulation as a site for mobilization around
issues of race and apartheid, disability, consumer rights, and the environment. With this thesis, I wanted to advance my
understanding of the ways in which discrimination is ingrained in U.S. infrastructure. I also initially hoped to study my
hometown, Westchester, New York, as I know from personal experience, it has remained a highly segregated region.
Scholars exploring how federal policies contribute to racial residential segregation have demonstrated how structural bias entrenches
inequality. Much of this scholarship has focused on the impact of the interstate highway system on marginalized communities. No one,
however, has examined how lawmakers involved in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 sanctioned segregationist agendas in New Rochelle,
New York by implementing Interstate 95. Thus, this thesis builds on prior work by delving into the discriminatory effects of the Federal Aid
Highway Act on an area which has not yet been examined. Future researchers may contribute to the broader scholarship on the importance of
promoting diverse participation in the federal lawmaking process in order to disrupt the country’s history of exclusion and exploitation.
NYC Urban Fellows Program– a nine-month fellowship which combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with
volunteer service opportunities and a seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy.