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How Statehood Could Increase Equity for the People of DC

Join the Urban Institute and the Urban–Greater DC initiative for a virtual discussion of what statehood would mean for Washington, DC, residents.

As Congress prepares to vote on legislation that considers statehood for DC, examining how the District’s status has affected residents and preserved inequities is critical. The disparities Washingtonians face have been highlighted during federal relief discussions and by the increased presence of federal troops over the last year.

But statehood is an issue that goes beyond congressional representation. Without full self-governance, DC residents have been denied the ability to make legislative decisions that affect the health, safety, and economic well-being of their communities. For the more than 700,000 Washingtonians, many of whom are people of color, DC statehood is an opportunity to receive the same rights as other Americans.   

This conversation will focus on the history of inequality in the city and the fight for statehood, as well as the economic and equity implications of statehood for DC residents.



  • Chris Myers Asch, Visiting Instructor, Colby College 
  • Johnny Barnes, former Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area 
  • Bo Shuff, Executive Director, DC Vote
  • Erica Williams, Executive Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute 
  • Peter A. Tatian, Senior Fellow and Research Director for Urban–Greater DC, Urban Institute (moderator)




As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities in the DMV region, this series convenes Urban Institute subject matter experts and local changemakers working on the ground to discuss which policies and programs are needed to support communities in the short-term and how we might reimagine what the region could be, including a framework for equitable growth, in a post-COVID-19 world. The series is part of Urban–Greater DC, an initiative to build knowledge that empowers Urban scholars and local partners to build on the region’s assets to confront inequities and create a region of shared prosperity.


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Image credit: Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock


Date & Time Monday, April 12, 2021

  • Senior Fellow
    Research Director, Urban–Greater DC