Community Stories, Eden News, Eden Updates

The Beginning Of Our DEI Journey

July 7, 2022

To Our Friends, Supporters and Partners

On behalf of Eden’s leadership team and Board of Directors, we are proud to share with you our first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report.

Eden Housing was founded in 1968 by six community activists who were concerned about the lack of non-discriminatory affordable housing in Alameda County. One of their early social justice projects was to work on a ballot initiative to create fair housing. Although the initiative failed, Eden’s volunteers established an ethos of resilience that we continue to uphold—promoting the fundamental right to a home and the economic opportunities it unlocks.

This past year we launched a new five-year strategic plan that includes a company-wide commitment to embed racial, social and economic justice in all our work.

We created a new mission statement, core values and an equity statement that grounds and inspires our work each day. We also contracted with Innovisions to conduct a staff survey and focus groups to identify opportunities for growth within Eden.

An important next step was to hire Lorenzo Jones as part of our team, our first Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Together, we will continue to work with our staff, residents and partners to advance initiatives that promote equity and justice for all. This includes our advocacy work to eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies that keep people of different races and at lower income levels from living in the same communities.

Our board made a commitment four years ago to a formal program to diversify its membership and create leadership succession, passing term limits for the first time in our history. The Board also recently participated in its first DE&I training. We are embedding equity and justice in our board committee work plans and have identified specific equity issues for Eden to engage in from tenant rent policies to our investment policies.

We see this work as critical to creating a stronger, more equitable future for all.

Linda Mandolini, President, Eden Housing
Jim Kennedy, Chair, Eden Board of Directors