Our nation and city are in a desperate place today as we join our Twin Cities neighbors in mourning George Floyd. We have witnessed yet another person of color die senselessly at the hands of the very people entrusted to serve and protect. Above all, we have allowed distrust and prejudice to win out over love and respect.
Sadness, grief, and anger are all appropriate emotions. But resolve – not hate – is our motivation. Habitat for Humanity was born on a small farm in Georgia marked by its fierce commitment to the equality of all people and its unfailing devotion to the creation of opportunity for all.
People of faith and strong conviction called that farm home. Their concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. Koinonia Farm rose in the shadow of a community that did not understand, welcome — or in many instances — tolerate them. And yet, because a small group never failed to put their faith into daily practice, the seeds of our global housing ministry were planted.
The way we approach our work has been a vehicle for reconciliation and has broken down barriers between people. We work alongside those seeking to uproot historic, systemic, and institutional racism. We must resolve to further equity for all.
At Milwaukee Habitat, we believe closing our community’s racial homeownership gap is a critical component of building a Wisconsin where everyone can thrive. The most recent data shows that the Milwaukee metro area ranks third worst for black homeownership in the US. While there is much more work that needs to be done, I’m reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).
In PartnershipBrian Sonderman
Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity