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MODULE 1: Tyrell Dixon, Project Own
Mortgages and Generational Wealth


Anti-Black lending practices of the 20th century have had a lasting impact on American society and the financial health of Black households and individuals. The goals of this module are for students to apply pre-requisite knowledge, skills, and concepts related to finance, lending and mortgages in order to state, comprehend, and evaluate the devastation of the anti-Black lending practices from both a business and human perspective.

Behavioral Objectives

After completing this module students should be able to…

  1. Identify the anti-Black private, public, and legal structures that created and sanctioned the following discriminatory practices in predominantly Black U.S. cities:

    • Red lining

    • Restrictive covenants

    • Financial apartheid

    • Contract sales/buying

    • Deed restriction

  2. Understand the cumulative impact that redlining, the great migration, and forced displacement have had on the historical trauma experienced by Black residents and businesses in redlined neighborhoods in Baltimore.

  3. Compare and contrast the economic and social impact that historically anti-Black predatory housing and mortgage practices have had on the stability and long-term wealth benefits for White and Black entrepreneurs and their communities.

  4. Evaluate the disparate impact of previous local and federal “solutions” for creating racial equity in the mortgage industry home ownership in predominantly Black cities like Baltimore.

  5. Identify areas of need and opportunities that still exist to create home ownership and generational wealth in redlined neighborhoods.

  6. Identify how organizations, businesses, and institutions like Project Own are using a democratic, community owned process to create an equitable system of home ownership and generational wealth creation for residents in redlined communities.

  7. Demonstrate the personal growth and empathy required to make investments in entrepreneurs and companies that are creating inclusive models of home ownership and generational wealth creation in historically redlined neighborhoods.

Interview with Tyrell Dixon, founder of Project Own

Suggested Questions, Activities, Assignments, and Reflections

  • After listening to Tyrell's story and his experience with investors “who may not look like” him, how can you use the principle of curas personalis to guide your journey to be a more empathetic and socially aware partner to Black entrepreneurs working to address historically racist and anti-Black structures and policies?

  • Develop a case study of two families - one Black in a “redlined” community and one White in a green or “bluelined” community - in ~1950

    1. Create a fictitious family financial tree for both families.

    2. Use historic salary and mortgage data including amortization tables, tax statements, and investment portfolios to calculate the generational wealth accumulated in both families through 2021.

    3. Use available data including indicators from the Baltimore Neighborhood Index to define the returns on investments that will have the greatest impact on redlined neighborhood like the one your family “lived” in

    4. Use an Impact Gap Analysis to identify previous strategies, current stakeholders, and unmet needs for creating equitable home ownership and generational wealth creation in these redlined neighborhoods.

  1. Evaluate the findings of the 1968 Kerner Commission Report Assess the progress made to date to determine if Federal, State, and City governments have:

  2. Implemented equitable policies to address the report's findings in redlined vs bluelined communities

  3. Addressed the structures and policies that have prevented implementation of the report’s recommendations.

  4. Write a mission statement for a mortgage lender that might ensure equitable access the capital and develop a plan that includes key metrics and indicators to determine whether they are reaching their goals.

  5. How do mortgage/loan documentation requirements perpetuate systemic racism?

  6. What is the role potential role of fintech in breaking down systemic barriers to home ownership?


  1. L.T. Brown. The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, MD. 2021. Tracks 3, 4, 5 pp 64-178

  2. Baltimore Business Journal. In West Baltimore, two Black women developers take novel approaches to tackle blight. March 22, 2021

  3. “Valerie Wilson on the economic inequality gap for African Americans,” Washington Journal, C-SPAN, 03-Mar-2018.

  4. O. Kerner, “1968 Kerner Commission Report,” 1968.

  5. M. A. Turner and F. Skidmore, Eds., Mortgage lending discrimination: A review of existing evidence. The Urban Institute, 1999.

  6. “Housing segregation and redlining in America: A short history | Code Switch | NPR,” 11-Apr-2018. [Online]. Available: v=O5FBJyqfoLM. [Accessed: 30-Jul-2021].

  7. Maryland Historical Society: History of Housing Discrimination and Redlining in Baltimore.

  8. The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic June 15, 2014 https://

  9. Broadwater, Luke. “Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay $175M Settlement in Pricing Discrimination Suit.”, 10 Dec. 2018, xpm-2012-07-12-bs-md-ci-wells-fargo-20120712-story.html.

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