Redlining in Omaha


The student history projects, lesson plans, and teaching activities collected here explore how discriminatory practices, known as redlining, led to the decline of neighborhood commercial centers in communities of color in eastern Omaha.

The neighborhood history projects, created by OPS students, teachers and university students, include: detailed neighborhood historical information, a guiding question, an oral history interview with a community elder as well as youth-driven ideas for the neighborhood’s future.  The accompanying lesson plans and teaching activities provide economics, history, geography teachers means to utilize this content in their high school classroom.

 (HOLC Map of Omaha, ca 1935. Courtesy of Paula Strand.) "Beginning in 1936, the neighborhoods of Omaha’s Near North and South sides were systematically segregated from the rest of the city by means of prohibitive and discriminatory home lending practices. In Omaha, and cities across the country, red lines were literally drawn on city maps by the federally-funded Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, identifying predominantly African-American and immigrant communities as “hazardous” and unfit for investment." -Undesign the Redline


Jefferson Square

2019 Projects
Jefferson Square was founded in the 1860s not long after the founding of Omaha itself in 1854. Located near 15th and Burt St., it was a popular neighborhood for indigenous people and immigrants because it was downtown and urban, and it was surrounded by a large industry.
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Additional Information

In this section, we have compiled articles, online educational resources, and videos to help educators and community members learn more about the history of redlining in the United States.

Interactive Maps:

 Interactive Map: Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America (University of Richmond) 

Interactive Map: The Racial Dot Map (University of Virginia)

Online Educational Resources:

"Teaching Tolerance" Toolkit:  

Undesign the Redline Project (Designing the We and the UNION):

Helpful articles about redlining: 

"Why Are Cities Still So Segregated?"  (NPR)

The impact of the HOLC on the economic development of American neighborhoods. 

"How Redlining's Racist Effects Lasted Decades" (New York Times)

"Interactive Redlining Map Zooms in on America's History of Discrimination" (NPR)

Radio Interviews:

"The Color of Law Details How Housing Policy Created Segregation"  (All Things Considered)


"The Color of Law" (Richard Rothstein)