Who is AREA?

Armatage Reparations & Equity Action (AREA) is a group of neighbors working to raise awareness of the racial covenants that still shape Southwest Minneapolis. These covenants barred anyone who wasn’t white from owning more than 750 Armatage homes. Although unenforceable today, these discriminatory deeds led to the vast racial inequities we see in Minneapolis in 2021.

AREA’s founding members live in a development called Pennhurst Second Addition, which stretches from Penn Avenue to Humboldt Circle. On November 19th, 1946, property developers legally segregated this large section of Armatage and Kenny by placing a racial covenant across all of it. Thousands of similar covenants could be found throughout Minneapolis and Hennepin County in the early 20th Century.

Text of the racial covenant placed on nearly every home between 55th and 56th Streets from Penn Avenue to Humboldt Circle.

In response to the covenants, we are initiating a reparations project. The first step in this project is to acknowledge that, even though we didn’t create the covenants, Southwest Minneapolis still benefits from their effects today. In order to raise awareness of the covenants and their legacy, we are officially renouncing them. Since publicly launching in January 2021, dozens of neighbors have joined us. We invite you to renounce them as well. As we establish ourselves in Armatage and beyond, we will continue this reparations project with follow-up actions that neighbors may take to seek redress for communities still afflicted by the covenants’ legacy. Sign up for future emails announcing these actions here.

The document containing our original covenant. Click to read it in full.

The area we live in was built with racism in 1946, but AREA is working to make it anti-racist today. We hope that you will join us.