We are all confronting the wounds of racism in this country. These wounds now demand not only to be recognized, but healed. The atrocities visited on black people in America must be accounted for — starting with the original sin of slavery, through Reconstruction, to present-day police brutality that’s taken the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others. Our own industry has played a major role in this oppression through its practices of red-lining, redevelopment /removal of black neighborhoods, restrictive covenants, blockbusting, “steering” and other forms of housing discrimination that have locked countless generations of black families out of the American Dream.
Never has it been more clear that in order to address such a deep-seated, institutionalized evil, we must all speak out and take action.
This week we are making donations to the following organizations and encouraging all our agents and clients to do the same.
Black Lives Matter – https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
Campaign Zero – https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide. Learn more about #8CANTWAIT, their new initiative to immediately address police violence.
Equal Justice Initiative – https://support.eji.org/give/153413/#!/donation/checkout
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Fair Fight – https://fairfight.com/
Fair Fight promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications.
Know Your Rights Camp – https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/
Know Your Rights Camp’s mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund – https://www.naacpldf.org/
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.
The Bail Project – https://bailproject.org/
The Bail Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to combat mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system ‒ one person at a time.
JusticeLA – http://justicelanow.org/
JusticeLA prioritizes an intersectional approach to movement-building that uplifts the communities most impacted by incarceration in Los Angeles County, including: immigrant and undocumented people; Black, Brown and indigenous peoples; people with mental health and substance use needs; young people, women and LGBTQ people.
The Okra Project – https://www.paypal.me/theokraproject
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.
Unicorn Riot – https://unicornriot.ninja/donate/
Unicorn Riot is a non-profit media organization dedicated to fair, on-the-ground reporting on civil disobedience, police brutality and white supremacy.
In the following weeks on our social media channels, we will be highlighting the work of black architects, designers, and developers who have made profound impacts on our built environment.
Lastly, we’re committed to broadening our understanding of this difficult issue. We will be reading, books such as:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
We will be taking a closer look at our own practices, blindspots, and limited diversity. We will work to make change. But we also want to hear from you, our clients, agents, and partners, for direction in building a more open organization, as well as a more just and equal society. Our hearts and our minds are open.