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The housing system functions at various scales, but there’s often a significant mismatch between where housing policy is made and where housing markets function. After all, most people don’t choose where to work or live based on the boundaries of a local government, yet housing policy is so intertwined with local zoning and subsidies (including federal subsidies that flow through to local bodies), that much of the focus of housing policy, research, and advocacy is on local jurisdictions. And though central cities are often the focus of affordability policies and investments, suburbs are often larger and have more opportunities for economic mobility and so have a critical role to play in a regional market’s housing affordability. Read more.

Sourced from Urban Institute

The Community Engaged Scholar Award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated co-created engaged scholarship that has positively impacted communities. Community Engaged Scholars have made significant contribution to Ohio State's culture of engagement, further establishing, and strengthening the institution's commitment to communities.

Timothy McDermott, Assistant Professor, Extension Educator at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/Extension

Extension is an outreach arm of the university, engaging our community using research-based information to positively impact residents lives. Dr. McDermott impacts through agriculture and its opportunities. He delivers neighborhood and place-based outreach, free of charge, in economically disadvantaged communities of color, primarily to BIPOC, New American, immigrant and refugee client residents and their children through the development of impactful programs, committed partnerships, and new friendships.

He co-led The Buckeye ISA project, a 2022 Ohio State High Impact Program awardee where he taught families with children in the Linden, South Side, near East Side, Hilltop and Franklinton neighborhoods how to grow their own food for personal and family food security. Outputs of this project included 124 new family farmers trained, 85 classes with 2,500 attendees, and $1,533,889.31 dollars leveraged locally in government funding, materials donation, monetary donations, volunteerism time, and grants.

He engages students and teachers in schools through STEM-based Ag in the Classroom programs creating indoor and outdoor agricultural experiential learning laboratories for the purpose of workforce development. McDermott has engaged over 80 schools including Columbus City, Reynoldsburg, Whitehall, The Ohio School for the Deaf and charter schools Columbus Adventist Academy, Midnimo Linden Academy and KIPP. He leveraged $450,000 in funding from USDA NIFA, Scotts-Miracle Gro, and the OSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion to provide materials and knowledge support to mitigate participation barriers by teachers that has engaged over 50,000 Franklin County youth.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $9.5 million for Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2023. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. They are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture. Read the news release.  

Sourced from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Earlier this month, USDA announced it would provide assistance to producers who have faced discrimination in its farm lending programs. Specifically, USDA intends to allocate $2.2 billion by the end of the year and will work with qualified 501(c)3 entities to help with this process.  Read the full USDA press release here.

While much information remains unknown,
this is a big opportunity for BIPOC farmers to access much-needed debt relief.

USDA is seeking to partner with community-based organizations in historically underserved communities that have relationships with underserved farmers and food producers to provide outreach to potential applicants. USDA is asking interested organizations to express interest in an email to by March 31.

For our part, Wallace Center submitted a request to USDA to be included in the process of distributing funds as equitably and efficiently as possible and advocate for these funds to go to BIPOC organizations and farmers. We'll share what we learn as more information becomes available.

If you're interested in learning more about partnering with USDA in these efforts, email by March 31 expressing your interest.

Sourced from The Wallace Center

In 2003, the National Academies Press published a landmark report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, that shocked many policymakers and the medical establishment with its finding that racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of care are “remarkably consistent,” even after controlling for access-related factors, such as income and insurance status. Despite the national attention this report received, the nation has made little progress toward eliminating health care inequities in the 20 years since the report was published.

As the 20th anniversary of Unequal Treatment approaches, the Urban Institute is launching a new program of action to elevate health care inequities as a national priority and build momentum for key remedies and structural reforms. To kick-off the initiative, we invite you to join us for a full-day symposium designed to bring together policymakers, researchers, health care administrators and professionals, and other interested parties. The webcast symposium on March 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. will

  • make evidence of the causes and consequences of health care inequities more accessible to patients, health care consumers, health care industry leaders, and policymakers;
  • identify the most promising research and policy strategies that have emerged in the 20 years since Unequal Treatment’s publication;
  • allow interested parties to collaborate to develop tools and mechanisms to hold practitioners and policymakers accountable, particularly at the state level, where key opportunities exist to establish equity-focused strategies; and
  • elevate the voices of patients from marginalized communities and a new generation of scholars of color whose perspectives must be centered in identifying research questions and solutions.

Register here.