Breaking the Silence 

Mercy Housing is horrified and disturbed by the racist violence that is plaguing our country. From past to present, people of color have been targeted in the United States and this must stop.

Our work has always been centered on social justice. Mercy Housing’s values of respect, justice, and mercy are more than words, they are the foundation of everything we have accomplished over the past 40 years. At this moment in history, action is required to correct racist injustice. Mercy Housing and all communities need to foster compassion and equity.

We firmly believe that housing justice is racial justice. Mercy Housing is a catalyst for systemic change, and we continue to push ourselves to find new ways to serve even more people in need of a stable, affordable home. Every day we ask ourselves, ‘how can we do better,’ and we ask that you do the same. We must not be silent and we must take action.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is heartbreaking that the racist murders we are witnessing are not new patterns of violence. This is a long history of the system which allows such murders to happen. At Mercy Housing, we believe that these hateful ways of thinking and acting have no place in society.

Members of our Senior Leadership Team and members of our national CORE Team (Colleagues Operationalizing Racial Equity), reiterate our commitment to racial equity and our core values in light of recent events — the murders of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. These murders, along with an increase in anti-Asian American assaults and harassments in the wake of coronavirus, and an increase in anti-immigrant speech and sentiment — make it clear that everyone must act.

While each of you may choose to get involved in your communities in various ways, at Mercy Housing we believe that silence is not an option because silence is complicity. We encourage you to stand with all communities suffering from racist violence and acts of hate so that together, we can build a better future for everyone no matter the color of their skin.

Some of you have lived with the reality of these injustices and are already deeply involved in social justice advocacy. Others may have a new awareness of the systemic dehumanization of people of color and may be wondering how you can help.

This call to action is ongoing. We can do better. Take care of yourself, take care of your communities, talk to people, and always act with selfless compassion. These recent events undermine everyone’s rights to safety, stability, and respect. We need to commit to justice — not only when there are racist acts of violence as we are experiencing now — but over the long term.