A tour that covers the history of the Martin Luther King Boulevard area is slated for the afternoon of the Fair Housing Conference. (Photo: Staff)

This week, the City of Chattanooga is hosting a daylong event to educate attendees about fair housing and to commemorate the 1968 act that protects people from discrimination when working to find a residence.

“We want people to come and learn how to be more vigilant and more well-informed on what housing discrimination looks like,” Office of Multicultural Affairs and Department of Economic and Community Development Program Specialist Vanessa A. Jackson said. 

The event is slated for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 20 at The Edney Innovation Center. A more detailed schedule is expected online soon, and Jackson said that—in addition to the keynote from The Black Urbanist Kristen E. Jeffers—there will be breakout sessions.


There’s a session on the city’s affordable housing efforts, another on redlining and one focused on the LGBTQ community.

There’s also going to be a panel focused on topics of interest to the aging and disabled community, a legal workshop about the state’s landlord and tenant act and another seminar on lending discrimination.

Chattanooga Organized for Action members will lead a walking tour of the Martin Luther King Boulevard corridor. They are scheduled to provide the history of the area, including the city’s early slave market, bus boycotts and marches after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

“I think this conference will include a little something for everybody,” Jackson said.

Jeffers—who is a freelance writer, urban planner and advocate and has master’s of public affairs focused on community and economic development—said she’s going to share her personal experiences.

“I feel like the best way I can tell a story is from my heart…this is a very personal topic for me,” she said.