American Sociological Association

Sociology in Action: Gregory D. Squires

Gregory D. Squires, George Washington University, has worked with the National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington DC, where he edited a book that commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. ASA asked Squires about his work:

What is the mission of the National Fair Housing Alliance? NFHA is a consortium of over 220 non-profit fair housing groups that work toward the elimination of discrimination and segregation in the nation's housing markets.

Can you describe your involvement with the organization? I edited the book, The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act (Routledge 2018), at the request of, and in collaboration with, NFHA. This book commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Federal Fair Housing Act and includes contributions from leading scholars and advocates who have investigated and worked for the eradication of discrimination and segregation from the nation's housing markets. NFHA has planned several activities for the 50th anniversary year. Dissemination and discussion of this book is an integral part of many of those activities.

What sociological knowledge and/or skills did you use for this project? Familiarity with competing theoretical perspectives on discrimination and inequality; knowledge of various methods for investigating housing discrimination and housing; and networking to identify key contributors to this volume.

How did you connect with the NFHA? For decades I have worked with some of those who founded NFHA in 1988, including the founding board President. I have since collaborated on a variety of projects, speaking at their annual conference, inviting staff to give guest lectures in my class, and serving on the Fair Housing Task Force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which NFHA co-chairs.

Duration of the project? A little over three years from the initial discussion to the end of 2018.

Is there anything else you would like to share about this work? Among the contributors to this book are Walter Mondale, one of the two principal co-sponsors of the Fair Housing Act, and Wade Henderson who led the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for more than 20 years. Among the scholars who contributed to the book are several sociologists including Douglas Massey, George Lipsitz, and Jacob Rugh.