For many of us, specifically white folx, it’s hard to talk about racism; however, the inability to engage in difficult discussions and anti-racist work does not change the reality or impact of structural racism on Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC).
Choosing to be complacent isn’t a privilege that’s awarded to marginalized communities. In fact, to bring about sustainable and effective change, white folx must work to shift power structures and center the voices and needs of BIPOC. Before doing that, they must first examine and understand the history of racism and the harm it’s caused and continues to cause communities of color.
This past November, HDC hosted a two-day training presented by the People’s Institute, as part of our Race, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. Through dialogue, analysis, and reflection, our members developed a common definition of racism and an understanding of the historical context for how racial classifications in the United States came to be and how and why they are maintained.
Read what some of our members had to say about the Undoing Racism Workshop:
“This training was one of the best anti-racism trainings I have attended. It deepened my understanding of racism in this country and transformed my perspective on effective ways to eliminate racism.”
“This training is the foundation necessary for any work within communities.”
“The content was incredibly informative and thought-provoking. In housing and urban design contexts, this course was helpful for my day-to-day design work.”
“I am responsible for the house in which I live but did not build.”
“I’ve been involved in different aspects of the affordable housing industry for 20 years – this has changed everything for me.”
“Enlightening and empowering”
“You cannot do this work alone. This was hard for me to hear as I tend to rely & depend on myself majority of the time, asking for help in this area is difficult, leaving me vulnerable.”
As housing experts, it’s important for us to understand the impact of structural racism, redlining, home-buying and credit access, how it’s contributed to gentrification and displacement throughout King County and across the nation. Additionally, it’s important for organizations to take lead from communities of color, who know how to best serve their own communities.
Anti-racist trainings do not change systems overnight, but for white folx to be effective allies/and accomplices, they must understand how they can use their power and privilege to level out the playing field.
HDC understands that this is lifelong work, and we are committed to advancing racial equity throughout our sector. Thank you to our members who boldly leaned into this training, and we look forward to the next training on January 9th and January 10th. Please register here!