This past week reminds us why we do the work we do and that there remains much more to do. It is unacceptable that any person in this country is subjected to injustice—and we are angered and saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and hold in our hearts the many other victims of police brutality. At this pivotal moment, we must acknowledge the pain and suffering and work harder to dismantle systemic racism and confront discrimination across the country. We stand in solidarity with those protesting against the violence impacting Black communities because it’s a disgrace to our personal values. Each of us should reflect on the long history of racial injustice and take responsibility to effect positive change.
A key component in reversing discrimination includes access to decent, safe, and affordable housing. Federal and local housing policies in the past century set the table, but alone do not serve up all the important programs, resources, and enforcements necessary to address housing discrimination—which has prevented access to safe and affordable homes for African Americans for decades. Community development organizations were formed in disinvested, poor neighborhoods across the country as an important venue and voice at the table to address poverty, civil rights, bank redlining, and poor housing conditions. The community development industry and the work we do every day is rooted in the need to fight racism.
We stand with the Black community and our NeighborWorks network in the bold and courageous fight for equality and justice. Together, we can be agents of change. Our voices must be heard and responded to and we must draw on our collective power to remain part of the solution.
Jeanne Pinado, Board President of NeighborWorks Capital
Jim Ferris, CEO of NeighborWorks Capital