The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and many Black men and womxn before them are proof that racism continues to pollute our nation. We are cycling through our feelings–outrage, anger, sadness–and examining how we can use our position in the community to fuel our emotions into actions that spur change.
Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade’s ultimate goal is to create safe communities for everyone by providing free home and facility repairs. Through our services, we work every day to repair what is physically broken in our neighbors’ homes. We have seen first-hand what Black families have endured for living space. We recognize that systemic racism, like redlining, has made it considerably harder for Black folks to acquire the financial wealth necessary for a stable, healthy living environment.
Enough is enough. Racism is an affordable housing crisis and it is time we break our silence, join discussions, and begin working together to repair what’s broken in our society.
Today, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade commits to being an anti-racist organization fighting against policies that allow for substandard housing, poor infrastructure, and injustice in Black communities. We will continue to fight gentrification by repairing homes, community centers, and small businesses in historically Black communities throughout Miami-Dade County. We will show up to community meetings and forums to fight for equality and hold our leaders accountable. We stand with our Black neighbors and pledge to lift up their voices and speak out against systems and policies that tolerate and support systemic racism and injustice. We pledge to include Black leaders and explore opportunities to partner with organizations and groups benefiting Black communities, facilitated by Black leaders. Furthermore, we will celebrate Black lives and Black culture by shopping at Black businesses, reading Black authors, studying Black history, and supporting Black artists.
We will listen, research, and examine ourselves in an effort to unlearn inherent racism. We commit to analyzing our policies, being thoughtful with our communication, and diversifying our team in an effort to be an organization promoting equity.We do not always know the right thing to say or do, but do know silence is the most deafening form of compliance that will only allow these atrocities to continue.
We know we need to do better–we need to create a concrete plan of how we will achieve these commitments. This statement is the first step in a long journey. Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade’s team does not adequately represent the communities we serve. Our staff acknowledges we have work to do both externally and internally. This is just the beginning and we promise to include the community in our efforts. We invite you to join us in this journey and, furthermore, hold us accountable.
Black lives matter.
-Travis, James, Martina, Linda, and Ashley
P.S. If, like us, you are trying to learn more and be a better ally; our staff recommends these three books as a good place to start!
**These titles are available for a lower price with other retailers, however we linked to a small, Black-owned bookstore in Boynton Beach, FL. Please consider ordering through these links to support a Black-owned business. Thank you!**
Watch a video (or all three!) to learn more about redlining and how it has and continues to effect the Black community:
Click on this photo for a printable PDF download of Legal Services of Central New York’s Housing Segregation Timeline: