Historically, one of Habitat’s core values has been “Honoring the inherent dignity of individuals and communities, we treat others the way we ourselves would like to be treated.”
Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that persist today. Given homeownership is one way to build generational wealth and community, organizations like Habitat that work on housing must understand this history, and it must inform our work moving forward.
At Habitat SKC, we are committed to connecting issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and the resulting wealth gaps, and working to eradicate those barriers.
As important as these issues are for those we serve, they are also critical to our work environment, and we are also committed to attracting and hiring a diverse and multicultural staff, and improving employee engagement, inclusion and belonging.
To formalize our commitment, Habitat SKC’s Board of Directors recently adopted a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion commitment statement, where it affirmed its commitment to breaking down the systemic barriers in place that prevent access to affordable housing for marginalized members of the community; and affirmed its commitment to guiding the affiliate in its efforts to create a more inclusive community for its board, homeowners, staff and volunteers.
Following the lead of Habitat for Humanity International, we commit to doing the work in our practices, our programs and our networks that brings equity to our efforts and helps bring justice to the communities in which we work. We must do a better job of connecting issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and working to eradicate those barriers.