Statement of guiding principles to advance racial equity and justice
ATLANTA (Sept. 3, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity International co-signed the statement below as part of a coalition of other national nonprofit organizations.
As leaders who are committed to equity and justice, as mission-focused organizations who are stewards of the public trust, and as a nonprofit sector with far-reaching impact on the national economy, the undersigned are committed to advancing racial justice and equity in all areas of civic and community life. We are deeply moved by the stark racial injustice that the intersecting crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence toward people of color have once again revealed — racial injustice that is intertwined with America’s past and its present. The racial and ethnic disparities that persist across economic, education, healthcare, criminal justice and other sectors of society make clear that systemic racism continues to undermine the foundations of well-being for communities of color by denying access to opportunity and making it more difficult to secure jobs, housing, healthcare, education, nutrition and equal treatment under law.
Faced with this moment of national urgency and entrusted by communities to lead in crisis, we affirm and commit to utilizing the following principles and values as a guide in our individual and collective efforts to advance equity and justice:
We commit to dismantling systemic racism, redressing past discrimination, and advancing equity within our organizations, in our communities and in our nation — through our organizational policies and practices, in our programmatic work and by advocating for changes in public policy and law. Racial and ethnic disparities are a direct result of systemic racism today as well as past, unremedied discrimination that was often imposed or sanctioned by the government. Addressing these disparities requires our active engagement to change law, policy and practice.
We are committed to achieving a more comprehensive approach to justice and safety that invests needed resources in schools, child care, mental and behavioral health, affordable housing, job training, and other supportive programs and services that contribute to healthy, strong, safe and vibrant communities. Societal goals of racial justice and public safety are best achieved when communities have the resources to match crisis situations with an appropriate response, whether that be mental and behavioral health, social service, police or other interventions.
As we work to strengthen communities, we must listen to and lift up the voices and experiences of impacted people and communities, particularly the voices of young people in those communities who will lead future generations. Intentionally engaging impacted communities strengthens policies, strategies and decision-making. When we center and address the needs of the most marginalized, we recognize their humanity and advance equity and opportunity for all.
As we evaluate our programmatic work as well as policy proposals and legislation, we will specifically examine the extent to which they decrease racial disparities and oppression, particularly in systems and settings known to disproportionately and negatively impact people of color and other marginalized groups; advance solutions that have been developed in collaboration with and have the support of impacted communities; incorporate an intersectional and multi-sector approach to community challenges; and include the investments needed to fully implement and achieve racial equity outcomes.
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Alliance of Museums
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
Americans for the Arts
Association of Art Museum Directors
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Catholic Charities USA
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Covenant House International
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
Habitat for Humanity International
League of American Orchestras
Lutheran Services in America
Mental Health America
National Council on Aging
National Council of Nonprofits
National Human Services Assembly
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
United Philanthropy Forum
United Way Worldwide
The Salvation Army
The Arc of the United States
Volunteers of America