“There is so much underway in our world today that it is difficult to comprehend. COVID-19 and the as yet untold impact it will have in reshaping our world; that alone would be difficult. The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, which bystanders captured on video and shared across social media in real time; I can find no words sufficient to the task of processing these events.

But what is happening now in our city and our nation requires that those of us with a voice not only find the words, but speak up. In the affordable housing sector, we have a front row seat to the devastating impact that systemic racism has had on communities of color.

While I cannot know the pain endured by my black friends, colleagues and neighbors, I can listen and I can learn. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “If you want an end to riots, then learn to listen. Don’t question. Don’t condemn. Listen. Maybe then, justice can be met and true freedom will come.”

It starts with each of us; we all have work to do. As a white leader of an affordable housing developer, I boldly commit to engage in the vital anti-racist work that must take place at every level of our housing sector, of our government and in our society.

We must take action. As you grieve, we will grieve with you. As you pray, we will kneel with you. As you are outraged, we will share your outrage. As you protest, we will protest. We may stumble and falter. We may be awkward allies, but we will persist.

Black Lives Matter. It must be so.”