Habitat’s Equity Statement was collaboratively written by a diverse team of employees with input by the entire organization. After a 14-month training with the Center for Equity and Inclusion, our statement is reflective of our collective journeys to understand where disparities exist within our organization and how we can disrupt racism and oppressive forces. Our commitment to building a more equitable and inclusive workplace and community is at the heart of our work. This statement is a living document that will evolve as our understanding of and relationship to diversity, equity, and inclusion deepens in our institution and the greater Portland metro area.
Habitat envisions a community of staff, partners, volunteers, and donors who are deeply committed to furthering equity and inclusion in every facet of our organization. We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live and access to housing.
We acknowledge the discriminatory history of housing policies, which excluded, silenced, and violently exploited people of color and other marginalized communities. In Portland, housing policies including redlining and eminent domain destructively displaced Black communities. This history created inequities that continue to cause harm in our housing industry today. In order to create just opportunities for affordable homeownership, we must continually assess how racism – cultural, institutional, and individual – persists in our city and within our organization.
We recognize that our staff and leadership are not reflective of the communities we serve. Habitat’s homebuyers are comprised of the communities most impacted by systemic injustice and housing discrimination, including Black, Native, Latinx, refugee and immigrant communities. Despite this, historically and currently, Habitat has been a majority white-led organization. Habitat commits to continually evaluating and evolving our policies and practices in order to interrupt complicity in institutional, cultural, and individual racism.
We strive for a culture where people of every race, ethnicity, nationality, economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, size, and ability are welcomed, empowered, and celebrated. By investing in an organizational culture that reflects the values and needs of our community, we will infuse diversity within our workforce and ensure those most affected have a voice in crafting our decisions. By sharing power among a diverse range of voices, we will inherently become a stronger, more impactful, and resilient organization.