From our Executive Director, Keri Asevedo
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
The change our world is yearning for has become so evident over the past couple of weeks, that it’s impossible for anyone to ignore. The momentum is gaining for a day where black lives don’t just matter, but are equal in the eyes of everyone, especially the police. The time is now to look inward and acknowledge our own biases, learned or unlearned, and then work hard to change them. This movement is the promise of a new day, a new beginning, a chance to better our world and ourselves.
At Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity, we’re not going to sit idly and let this opportunity pass us by; we’re going to take Margaret Mead’s comment to heart and come together to change the world. It’s what we were built to do and it’s what we are going to build upon.
Our pledge to you – our beloved community of Rockford – is this:
- We’re going to continue to advocate to city leaders, county officials, state government and Congress to begin discussions about policies and philosophies our law enforcement departments can adopt that will lessen the chances of police brutality. We’re going to advocate for #8CantWait and ask that all local police departments enact the 8 simple policies outlined in the movement to decrease the chances of police brutality.
- We’re going to invest time and resources into training our staff, our board members, and our volunteers specifically on the history of housing discrimination and implicit bias, and then we’re going to use that context to change any outdated or inequitable policies that RAHFH holds.
- We’re going to change our culture by implementing a philosophy of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we’re going to hold each other accountable for the things we say and the way we operate.
- We’re going to focus our board recruitment on people of color. We believe that equality begins from the top down, and we will not stop until there is proper representation at all a levels.
- Starting today, we’re asking for feedback from people of color on how we can serve our community better. Please email me at KeriAsevedo@RockfordHabitat.org or call me 815-636-4573 to discuss ways Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity can help dismantle the cycle of discrimination in housing.
- Lastly, we’re going to partner with the Northern Illinois Center for Non-Profit Excellence, NICNE, an organization designed to support and educate non-profit leaders, to bring other non-profits together to have meaningful, lasting conversations about what we can do as a sector to bring equity to all those we serve. And we’re not just going to talk about it, we’re going to hold each other accountable to action steps we can each take to remove institutionalized racism for good.
Habitat for Humanity was founded and continues to believe that everyone – and we mean EVERYONE – deserves a safe, affordable place to live, and this movement – this very powerful movement – has strengthened our drive to be a leader in the fight for equality.
Keri Asevedo, Executive Director
Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity