Dear Habitat LA Supporters and Friends:
I want to speak from my heart. In the past few weeks I have felt anger, sadness and frustration at the senseless loss of the lives of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. We mourn them along with countless others whose lives were taken unjustly. For too long our communities of color have been in a constant battle for equity, inclusivity, and justice. These senseless deaths are but a symbol of a long history of racial injustice. Communities of color, especially African Americans, have long suffered inequality in the execution of our laws, lack of accessible healthcare, and racist practices that barred them from opportunities, including getting a mortgage and buying a home in the neighborhood of their choice.
Our colleagues at Habitat for Humanity Twin Cities made it clear that they are standing with those who are fighting for justice for George Floyd and we stand with them too. Jonathan Reckford the CEO of Habitat International wrote: “We must act. We must speak out against injustice, listen to those who have been unheard, and demand better of ourselves and of our leaders.”
My heart hurts and I know many of you feel the same. We all share in the waves of multiple emotions with the news of what is happening in our communities. Our nation is in pain. What we are experiencing reflects an accumulation of challenges and systemic inequities that have never been adequately addressed. More than any time I can recall, our communities are united in their disgust and demands for change.
Habitat for Humanity was born out of a theory of inclusivity and our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. I am proud to lead an organization that objects to inequities, works to improve our communities, and raises their voices for justice every day. We will act, we will be part of the solution our community needs. Let’s turn our frustration into action, use our voices for justice, extend compassion to others, and pray without ceasing for the families and communities who are hurting.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
With hope and determination,
President & CEO
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles