What is the Movement for Reparative Spatial Justice?

The spaces and places where people live and work are not just physical, but are deeply political, and for too long, have been structured in ways that limit the resources and possibilities available to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. 

Without structural interventions, stark differences in access will continue to replicate themselves across generations, each time making it harder to get out of such a cycle. Specifically, the United States’ foundational policies have perpetuated a cycle of exclusion and spatial injustice, preventing Black, Indigenous, and people of color from securing housing, land, and generational wealth, while reinforcing the concentration of these resources for white populations. Deconstructing such a deep-seated dynamic requires going face to face with past and present harms and injustices rooted in skin color, race, nationality, gender identity, and more.

There are growing movements — by and for these communities — to expand new futures for land and housing justice, whether by calling for universal access to stable housing, repairing relationships with the land, or demanding restitution for historical and ongoing injustices. The movement for reparative spatial justice is reimagining and reshaping spaces to enable historically marginalized communities to reclaim their connection to land and obtain restitution for the long-standing impacts of racist policies and practices. 

Aligning such efforts across communities, scales of action, and movements signifies a critical step in the journey toward reparative spatial justice, which is a transformative approach to rectify injustices in the distribution and use of housing, space, and land in a way that shapes inclusive, equitable futures. Reparative spatial justice aims not just to redistribute tangible assets like land and housing but to foster intangible yet vital elements like healing, growth, and well-being.

As a movement, reparative spatial justice extends itself to reenvision the world as a place in which all spaces enable historically marginalized communities to reestablish their connection to land and be restored from the long-standing impacts of discriminatory policies, practices, and programs. In this way, the movement recognizes the where, how, and when of justice, particularly that it can only be achieved by considering past, present, and future injustices. 

How do I join or support the movement?

Here are ways you can get involved:

  • Housing Futures and Land Justice Newsletter
    To sign up for our newsletter, please scroll down to the bottom right of this page and add your email in the footer callout box labeled “Sign up for our emails.” 

General Information or Partnership Opportunities

Do you have ideas, work, contacts, or resources aligned with the Spatial Futures Initiative? Feel free to reach out to the housing team Coordinator, Nina Rosenblatt at housing-team@policylink.org.

Media Center

Those closest to the challenges are those closest to the solutions. The Spatial Futures Initiative consists of a breadth of community leaders, academics, organizers, and policy experts who are working to advance reparative spatial justice in their communities. Please contact press@policylink.org for all media inquiries. 

Fund Our Work 

Foundations and others interested in financially supporting reparative spatial justice can learn more by contacting Rasheedah Phillips, Director of Housing Futures and Land Justice at housing-team@policylink.org. To invest directly in on-the-ground leadership or specific work of a Spatial Futures Fellow or reparative spatial justice organization, please visit the Fellows page and the Spatial Futures Database for more information.