We cannot be silent
June 18, 2020
Eden Housing stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are heartbroken and angered by the recent instances of violence against Black people, cases that follow a long history of racial injustice in the United States. Racism and systematic injustice against Black people have no place in the world.
We know that many on the Eden board and team are subject to daily injustice and discrimination that some of us never have to experience because we are white. While we cannot put ourselves in their shoes, we can stand with them as allies in the fight for racial justice.
Eden was founded on the principle of dismantling discrimination by a group of community activists who attempted to place a fair housing initiative on California’s ballot in 1968. Since then, we’ve worked every day creating the housing needed to ensure that all of our neighbors have a place to call home because we believe that a successful California makes room for all of us, regardless of the color of your skin.
At its core, our work is about dismantling systemic discrimination in real estate. We need to look no further than the many hearings we’ve attended where homeowners line up to tell us that they are in favor of affordable housing, just not in the location we’ve chosen. “Anywhere but here” is not inclusion, it is thinly veiled discrimination. Eden will continue to advocate for policies that allow the families we serve to have access to homes in communities where they can thrive.
We believe that housing is a human right and that everyone should have a decent place to live. But being a non-profit housing provider isn’t enough. We have to commit to abolishing racism.
We pledge to work on initiatives, changes, and improvements within our organization because we believe that embracing these values will improve our work at Eden and lead to a more just society.
In the past week, we’ve supported Eden team members who want to take immediate action – offering them a bank of paid time off to attend protests and other gatherings and matching their donations to social justice organizations. We are also working with our board to discuss what steps Eden can take in the near and long-term to broaden our efforts to advance the work of racial justice.
It is clear that there is more to be done, and we pledge to do more.
We pledge to reflect.
We pledge to listen.
We pledge to learn.
And we pledge our commitment to continue this work for the long-term.
There is no shortcut to the work of dismantling the deep inequities that exist in this country. We need to challenge our biases, our stereotypes, our systems, and be comfortable with the difficult conversations that need to be had.
We look forward to the future with the hope we can create positive change for the residents and communities we serve.