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Institute on Race and Poverty renamed Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity to reflect expansion of research areas

July 20, 2012

The University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Race and Poverty, founded in 1993, has been renamed the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity to reflect its broadening research, Professor and Institute Director Myron Orfield has announced.

The institute will continue work on housing and school racial segregation while undertaking new research in metropolitan land use and sustainable development; state and local taxation and public service reform; and regional economic development, transportation and transit planning, and governance. With support from the Ford Foundation, it recently completed a large study on growing racial diversity in suburbs of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Orfield teaches civil rights, state and local government and finance, land use, regional governance, and the legislative process, and has written more than 60 reports and three books on metropolitan issues, most recently Region: Planning the Future of the Twin Cities (UMN Press, 2010). A law professor, affiliated professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, he served on President Barack Obama’s transition team on urban and regional policy and on the Committee on Equality and Justice by appointment of Minnesota Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. Previously, he headed the demographics and planning firm Ameregis, practiced law in the public and private sectors, and was elected to both the Minnesota House and Senate, where he authored significant legislation on metropolitan area land use, taxation, and government reform.

About the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity

The University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity studies how laws, policies, and practices affect development patterns in U.S. metropolitan regions. Through top-level scholarship, mapping, and advocacy, it provides policymakers, planning officials, and community organizations with resources to address taxation, land use, housing, governance, and education reform. To learn more, go to


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