Habitat for Humanity is more than just a nonprofit housing ministry. Our shared vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live can’t be achieved with prayer alone. We must be committed to be better listeners, learners, leaders and take action through faith.
Since the protests of racial and systemic injustice have unfolded in our communities and our nation, we are called to no longer be ignorant but become informed and transform.
God is telling us to listen, to learn, to act. I know I must change, our efforts must change, if we are ever to see a glimpse of what the shared vision in our ministry commands us to strive for.
Habitat for Humanity-Spokane is committed to doing the work that brings equity to our efforts and helps bring justice to the communities in which we do this work. We must, throughout our ministry, do a better job of connecting issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and working to eradicate those barriers.
To truly be a ministry that is committed to the vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live, we must be better at connecting and understanding the history of Housing policies that have created racial inequity and are a direct conflict to what we are trying to achieve.
We are committed to transparency and want you — donors, volunteers, advocates and Habitat homeowners — to know we will keep you informed of the actions we take and strive to do better every day.
Habitat for Humanity’s efforts are often tangible. We show up on a construction site, pick up a hammer and get building. At the end of the day we can see what we’ve achieved. Now is the time take up other tangible efforts of action.
There is much more to do, but here is what we are doing now:
- We recommit ourselves to taking bold actions to ensure racial equity through our collective advocacy efforts, specifically the Cost of Home campaign. The Cost of Home Policy Platform states, “Advocates and policymakers must acknowledge and address the well-documented patterns of racial discrimination in housing and land use policies — at all levels of government — that still impact the makeup and opportunities of our communities.” We will work to effectively address and respond to these urgent needs.
- Inform and educate our community on significant and pressing issues in housing today — health, the impacts of COVID-19 on low-income families and particularly in communities of color, the role of redlining and racial inequality in housing disparities, and more.
- On Friday, June 19, Habitat for Humanity-Spokane will join Habitat for Humanity International to mark Juneteenth — the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States — as a Day of Reflection, Action and Solidarity. Our staff members are encouraged to use this day in a way that is most meaningful to them. Going forward, we will observe Juneteenth annually.
Habitat for Humanity-Spokane has an open door policy and will continue to be a space where people of all backgrounds can come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that Black Lives Matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth.
The reality of equity and a true community can only take place with a commitment to accountability and courage.
- Seek out and listen to local Black-led organizations and leadership. Know your history.
- Commit to naming, understanding and uprooting all forms of racism and white supremacy.
- Be actively anti-racist in every facet of your life.
- Support the Black Lives Matter movement and organizations on the front lines.
- Advocate for racial equity and social justice reform.
- Register to vote and VOTE!
- Complete the census.
- Research and learn about Juneteenth.
- The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
- NPR: “The Color of Law” Details How Housing Policies Created Segregation
- Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
- White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson
- Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race, by Frances Kendall
- How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- Stamped, by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
- So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son, by Tim Wise
- The Atlantic: The Case for Reparations
- The Marshall Project: Bryan Stevenson on Charleston and Our Real Problem With Race
- The New York Times: Turning the call for racial reckonings back on the U.S.