It’s not enough to just agree with the idea of equity
OFAH is recommitting to an anti-racist homeless housing administration. We want an equitable system and that means we must be persistent in our examination of how our current actions harm people and then work to institutionalize new policies and practices. Staff took one step last year and workshopped the characteristics of white supremacy culture from “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change.” We are thinking about how our workplace norms around “urgency,” “quantity of quality,” “fear of open conflict” translate into the program work we deliver to grantees.
We want you to know we are on this transformational journey with you!
Below are some allowable activities that most grant funding we provide supports –we are happy to brainstorm with you on how to make these activities happen too so please don’ hesitate to reach out.
Training and Education
Prioritize training on racism, systemic oppression, and the connections to homelessness.
Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) is a national alliance of government agencies working to achieve racial equity for all. GARE offers tools and other resources on how local and regional governments can advance racial equity. Member agencies receive access to trainings and a peer network. If your county or city is a member of GARE, let your grant manager know!
OFAH is working with the Racial Equity Action Lab to move the in-person trainings on-line starting this summer. These trainings are free to OFAH grantees and sub grantees and we will send a registration link as soon as it is available. Stay up to date with our Training web page here.
Join on-line discussions and webinars.
- The HMIS team has been working to identify racial and ethnic disparities in homeless services across the Balance of State. This work has been part of an ongoing effort to build equitable services for all. We invite you to attend our upcoming webinar addressing the findings thus far. Kyle Gitchell, a reports analyst on the HMIS team, will be giving a one-hour presentation on data pulled from the Census, the PIT, and HMIS, highlighting areas for improvement. We hope to see you there! Register for the webinar here.
- White Women’s Accountable Allyship – July 8, 15, 22
- How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – July 20
Read the Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities Report and see what was discovered in our own state:
Read what the National Alliance to End Homelessness has to say about creating an equitable homeless response during COVID 19. https://endhomelessness.org/a-framework-for-covid-19-homelessness-response-responding-to-the-intersecting-crises-of-homelessness-and-covid-19/
Read The Color of Law by Rothstein and learn how local, state and federal housing policies mandated segregation, also known as “redlining” to justify discrimination.
While you are waiting for training opportunities, organize book clubs with staff to build awareness, shared language and community. Consider exploring these racial justice organizations and recent news articles.
- Teaching Tolerance: What is White Privilege, Really?
- Anti-Racism Resources Document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020
- Check in on Your Black Employees, Now (New York Times Article) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/opinion/police-killings-black-mental-health.html
- We Must Step Up For Black People Right Now – Here’s How (Forbes Article) https://www.forbes.com/sites/shereeatcheson/2020/06/01/we-must-step-up-for-black-people-right-now/#53d10fd6d84b
System coordination and systems advocacy
Make time to meet with and listen to Black-led organizations, businesses and groups in your community. Learn from them what they need from your organization and let them tell you how to best support their community members. We are actively working with the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs to learn how we can partner with African American and Black community-led organizations to work toward better homeless housing outcomes.