Celebrating Black History Month

Reuben reading ToolkitGreetings from the HDC Racial Equity Initiative Coordinators, Monica Joe and Reuben Waddy. Welcome to 2015.

Last year, the Racial Equity Initiative got off to a great start with the release of our Racial Equity Toolkit. Now, it is time for us to focus on successfully implementing a racial equity lens into everyday HDC practices. In addition, we are preparing to make major strides towards achieving equity during Black History Month.

To begin 2015, we are creating a brochure that outlines key issues and statistics related to racial inequity and affordable housing. Not only is it meant to bolster the HDC racial equity lens, it also acts as a succinct precursor for the toolkit. This document will be instrumental in creating an effective plan for our work moving forward. Through it, we will communicate our most salient points to a broader range of members, who in turn will imbue us with fresh perspectives and experiences. Speaking of progress, let’s talk a little about an important month-long event.

Black History Month marks a great occasion for us to explore in depth why racial equity is needed in the affordable housing sector and elsewhere. We are going to take advantage of this national event by attending workshops, facilitating toolkit trainings, and disseminating our toolkit to a wider audience.

Most importantly, Black History Month will provide a time of national reflection. Race relations of the past year were widely varied. Some events spilled over into international headlines, and almost everyone voiced a strong opinion in various spectrums. We want people to have safe and productive discussions on race so we can have a better idea of where we stand on racial issues.

Speaking of discussions, we are currently coordinating the HDC Racial Equity Roundtable, titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” It will be held on February 27th at 10AM – 12PM, making it an excellent Black History Month recapping event.

At this Roundtable discussion, we will improve our toolkit, devise the next actionable steps towards building racial equity, and discuss racial inequities across the US. After this discussion, we will have a better idea as to how we can start to bring our goals to reality! In 2015, we will do everything we can to improve the lives of the most marginalized People of Color.

All the while, we will visit interested member organizations to outline best practices for using our toolkit. These toolkit training sessions will be informative and fun! Best of all, they will help organizations to implement a stronger racial equity lens to their organization, which will lead to a more equitable future.

2015 will be an active year for us. Please check out our website often for important updates and informative articles!

May we all strive for a more equitable future.


Monica Joe and Reuben Waddy, Racial Equity Initiative Facilitators