We are devastated by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor, adding to a long list of Black Americans unjustly killed by civilian vigilantes and police, once again laying bare the deep-rooted and systemic racism that continues to define our country. We know many of you are feeling deep pain and despair, too. This is especially so for Black Americans and other people of color.
Black lives matter to Bellwether Housing. We stand in solidarity with the Black community. As an affordable housing organization, we recognize the significant role that our country’s housing system has played in upholding the power of white supremacy that this country was founded on. This has resulted in discriminatory practices and a wealth gap that advantages white people and disadvantages Black people and other people of color. We live in a city with a history of housing segregation, redlining, and systematically denying people of color access to safe and affordable homes. We cannot create stable communities through affordable housing without addressing racial justice. Housing justice is racial justice.
Bellwether Housing continues to aspire to do the challenging work of putting forth anti-racist education and action within our organization and in our wider community.
Our current high-priority actions include:
· Ensuring that our policies and procedures are equitable and inclusive. We regularly re-evaluate our practices for inherent racism and bias and have changed those policies.
· Deepening our partnerships with organizations that center the work and voices of Black and Indigenous people and other people of color
· Conducting daily checks on our buildings to ensure that residents are safe and secure in their homes
· Creating a $250,000 rental assistance fund to help resident households impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black and LatinX communities
· Joining Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County’s Statewide General Strike and March for Black Lives tomorrow, Friday, June 12th. We are closing early tomorrow. All staff can use the day to rest, reflect, protest in person, or act remotely.
We call on our supporters to join us in acting for racial justice:
· Join us at the Black Lives Matter Seattle General Strike and March for Black Lives tomorrow Friday, June 12th. If you can’t join the march in person, look out for virtual action opportunities from BLM – SKC.
· Support and donate to Black-led organizations in Seattle such as Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and King County Equity Now. You can find more organizations and actions to take here.
We are committed to becoming an anti-racist organization and continuing to do the work to dismantle the systemic and institutionalized racism that our country was built on. Please join us in this crucial work.