Our Commitment to Anti-Racism:
The affordable housing and homelessness crisis in our state, and across the United States, has the greatest impact on Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. Just as policy decisions have created the crisis we see in our communities today; historic and current racist policies have caused these disparities. In working to root out and undo inequity in all its forms, we lead with race because racism is the foundation upon which this country was built and is still the driving cause of housing disparities. From the theft of land and forced unpaid labor of Indigenous, Black, and other communities of color, to the deliberate undoing of Reconstruction efforts, to redlining, to current laws allowing people impacted by a racist criminal justice system to be excluded from housing opportunities, examples abound. Undoing racism is foundational to our mission.
As a historically white-led and white-dominated institution, we recognize and acknowledge that we have perpetuated racism and white supremacy culture in our organization and our work, and in doing that, have hurt people in our organization, our movement, and people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. We commit to changing that.
- We recognize that the communities most impacted by the affordable housing and homelessness crisis need and expect us to do better. We commit to being more accountable and to work to become a truly anti-racist institution. We invite our members and partners to hold us accountable to these commitments.
- We commit to actively working to dismantle white supremacy culture within our spaces. This includes internal spaces (our workplace, our board, and organizational committees) and external spaces, including the state legislative policy and advocacy arena.
- We commit to developing our policy priorities in authentic collaboration with organizations rooted in communities of color and with people with lived experience with homelessness and/or housing instability.
- We commit to leading with race, while also working to undo all forms of inequity. Racism is an effective tool that divides our movements and communities, and undoing racism will create an environment where all forms of inequity can be more effectively disrupted.
- Our true north is a safe, affordable home for everyone in Washington – a universal goal. We know we can only achieve this by pursuing targeted policies that directly attack the unique barriers to housing experienced by each different community. We will use this targeted universalist framework – universal goal, targeted strategies – to develop our policy priorities.
- We commit to using our platform as a statewide membership organization to offer education on anti-racism and anti-Blackness to members, allies, and partners.
- We commit to ensuring that our leadership better reflects communities that are most impacted by the affordable housing and homelessness crisis. This includes our staff, board, committees, and membership.
To learn more, see our Resources page.
As a Seattle-based organization, we occupy unceded territory of the Coast Salish people, the traditional home of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Tulalip, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Muckleshoot, and Nisqually nations, the original caretakers and inhabitants of this region who are still with us and to whom justice is yet to be realized. We pay Real Rent to the Duwamish tribe. Learn about paying real rent. Our staff, board, and members live and work in communities throughout Washington (and beyond.) Learn more about the land where you live and work: https://native-land.ca/