The high-ceilinged Sequoia room at Menlo Park's Arrillaga Family Recreation Center hummed as about a hundred people in small groups of four or five sat and discussed the racial history of zoning and housing policy in Menlo Park and other communities on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 17.
The event, called "The Color of Law: Menlo Park Edition," was organized by Menlo Together, a community organization that, according to its website, is made up of "Menlo Park and Peninsula residents who envision a city that is integrated and diverse, multi-generational, and environmentally sustainable."
Before breaking into discussion groups, attendees were first given a quiz. Answers could be found by walking around the room and reading a set of posted sheets of paper making up a timeline, running from the late 1800s to today, going over historic events and practices that have shaped some of the racial inequalities that exist on the Peninsula today.
With permission from Menlo Together, The Almanac has converted the timeline, with some minor modifications, into an online interactive timeline.
Access the timeline and the rest of the story here.
Additional supporting organizations of the event were the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, the Community Equity Collaborative, Tech Equity Collaborative, Peninsula for Everyone, Palo Alto Forward, Menlo Spark, Nuestra Casa, Youth United for Community Action, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, the League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County, the Menlo Park Historical Association, Palo Alto Housing, and NAACP San Mateo County.