This past semester, Drew has been researching the history and contemporary manifestations of housing segregation and housing discrimination here in Winston-Salem. He started by looking at the national picture, examining how residential segregation began as an effort that was enforced by law, then moved into practices in the private sector (among them redlining, predatory lending, and restrictive covenants) and finally arrived at more subtle forms of discrimination like steering, a process that can involve a number of actions—all of which are conducted to keep certain groups like African-Americans, Hispanics and others out of a given neighborhood. With his research specifically on Winston-Salem, Drew examined how the racial conflicts and tensions in the city’s early history have to an extent shaped the racial divide that we see today. While many point to the construction of Highway 52 as the defining moment for residential segregation here in Winston-Salem, Drew argues that the separation of the races began well before that point. Drew gave a presentation of his research progress on December 1 in Wake Forest’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium (a link to which can be found here: Drew is looking forward to continuing his work into next semester and further exploring how Winston-Salem might work towards being a more racially inclusive and pluralistic city.

Drew Finley is a sophomore at Wake Forest planning to major in Politics & International Affairs and Spanish. He is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and has lived in the state for his whole life. On campus, Drew is involved with the Roosevelt Institute (a student policy think-tank) and the Euzelian Society. He is also a Staff Columnist for Wake Forest’s student newspaper, The Old Gold and Black, where his weekly opinion pieces focus on American government, politics, and policy. Drew plans to attend law school after graduating from Wake Forest, and in his free time he loves listening to rock and roll music and watching any Charlotte professional sports team win (or lose) in hard-fought games.