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 A new exhibit will examine the deep historical roots of gentrification, the racial wealth gap and housing discrimination in Durham.

“Uneven Ground: The Foundations of Housing Inequality in Durham, NC,” is a public history exhibition and engagement initiative of the Bull City 150 project, which examines the historical and contemporary roots of inequality in Durham.

The exhibit opening is 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, on the fourth floor gallery of the MDC Building in downtown Durham, at 307 W. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit explores how the current landscape of housing inequality in Durham has been shaped by a long history of racial discrimination by individuals, private industry and government policy. Topics include the history of ownership patterns, the tools of housing segregation and the consequences of racially discriminatory land-use policies such as urban renewal, and more. 

The traveling exhibit will be displayed at different community spaces in Durham. 

“Housing represents the greatest percentage of wealth for the vast majority of Americans,” said Robert Korstad, professor of public policy and history, and leader of the Bull City 150 research project.

“It is also the place where racial and socio-economic disparities are the most visible. Looking at the history of housing and land use policy in Durham helps illuminate these inequalities,” he said.

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In addition to the photographs, maps and oral histories featured in the exhibit, a story booth will give visitors the opportunity to share their own stories of housing and home in Durham.

Members of the Bull City 150 team will discuss the project and the relevance of this history through today. The event will also feature original artwork from local artist Moriah LeFebvre.

Other events tied to the exhibit will be scheduled during its run at the MDC gallery, which closes on Nov. 17.

“Bull City 150: Reckoning with Durham’s Past to Build a More Equitable Future” is a joint project of Duke University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

For more information about Bull City 150, visit their website at Or contact Mel Norton, project director, at (919) 485-9329 or

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