Undesign The Redline Opens November 15 in Denver

The Denver Foundation

Undesign the Redline”, an interactive exhibition, explores history of U.S. housing policy, race, segregation and impact in Denver at the Blair-Caldwell Library in Five Points, and Webb building downtown.

Denver—The Denver Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), and Designing the WE are proud to present “Undesign the Redline,” an interactive exhibition that traces the history and legacy of housing discrimination and segregation across Metro Denver and the United States.

Undesign the Redline” will be on display at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library from November 15 to December 15, and at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building from December 18 to January 2, 2019. A series of public events and programs will complement the exhibition.

Created by social impact firm Designing the WE, in partnership with Enterprise, the interactive exhibition uses powerful narratives of people and communities, maps, and other documentation to trace how government policy going back to the 30s, known as "redlining,” created racial segregation and disinvestment in communities that persist to this day.

The exhibition combines historical artifacts, storytelling, photographs, and activities to illustrate redlining’s roots and lasting repercussions. The history in the Denver neighborhoods of Five Points, Park Hill, Montbello, Globeville and many others will be explored through stories, historical artifacts, and timelines that extend from the 1800s through the present.

Undesign the Redline” is being brought to Denver with generous sponsorship from The Denver Foundation, Shift Research Lab, CHFA, Wells Fargo, The City and County of Denver and Denver Public Library.

“Our goal is to provide a tool through which we help community members understand how our living and residential patterns developed over time,” says LaDawn Sullivan, Director of Leadership & Equity at The Denver Foundation. “The exhibit spotlights the government’s role in maintaining segregation.”

Undesign the Redline not only shows us how the discriminatory policies and practices of the past still shape our lives today, but also helps us see what we can do to build equitable, sustainable and inclusive communities,” noted Jennie Rodgers, VP and Denver Market Leader, Enterprise. “The exhibit and upcoming discussions and tours will help us create a better Denver region.”

"Undesign the Redline" puts into perspective the local community landscape and the history of Denver, featuring the stories of:

  • Clara Brown, the first African-American woman to make it in the Colorado Gold Rush
  • Mayor Benjamin Stapleton and the KKK
  • Mile High Housing Association, the first cooperative of single-family homes in the nation
  • The Denver Black Panther Party
  • The annexation of Auraria by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority
  • Many more


  • Shift Research Lab
  • CHFA
  • Wells Fargo
  • The City and County of Denver
  • Denver Public Library


November 15-December 15

Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library

Monday and Wednesday, 12 pm-8 pm; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 am-6 pm; Saturday, 9 am-5 pm; Sunday, closed

December 18-January 2, 2019

Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax

Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm

More information is available here: https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/news-and-events/undesign-the-redline 

About The Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2017, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $66 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, please visit www.denverfoundation.org/.

About Enterprise Community Partners

Enterprise is a proven and powerful nonprofit that improves communities and people’s lives by making well-designed homes affordable. We bring together the nationwide know-how, partners, policy leadership and investments to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development. Over 35 years, Enterprise has created nearly 529,000 homes, invested $36 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.

About Designing the WE

Designing the WE is a for-benefit design studio positioned within the fields of social innovation and community driven social, cultural and economic development. dtW facilitates collaborative processes to redefine how big picture systemic challenges are approached, identify opportunities for action, and co-design more holistic and resilient strategies centered on positive transformation. www.designingthewe.com





  • Leadership & Equity