Systemic inequity is real. It is central to our mission that we address it in whom we hire, how we engage with community, and with whom we partner. We strive to advance initiatives that promote more equitable access to resources for residents and neighborhoods served by HPN’s members, and we will accelerate our mission by advancing diversity, equity and inclusion among our industry peers and business partners.
Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is important to HPN and its members because:
- America’s historic inequities require us to be proactive.
- The housing industry has played a central role in limiting access to housing and denying opportunity in America, and our sector has a special obligation to work to overcome decades of structural racism in U.S. housing policy.
- HPN members serve diverse communities, in many cities and neighborhoods which are largely comprised of people of color. We cannot claim to serve our communities if we are not actively working to dismantle systemic oppression and discrimination.
- We must also support efforts – whether our own or those of community partners – to empower the voices of BIPOC residents and stakeholders to determine the outcomes for their own communities.
- It is the right thing to do and in line with our values and beliefs as an organization. It will lift up our business ethics, help us grow as a network, and better respond to those we serve.
Constituted by leaders from 10 member organizations, HPN’s Racial Equity Steering Committee met for two years to discuss a network approach to commitments around racial equity.
The group completed its work in the summer of 2022 with four concrete recommendations for HPN to move the work forward: 1) Continue offering peer exchange opportunities for members to support each other and share best practices for advancing their racial equity efforts; 2) Create a standing board committee on racial equity (created in June); 3) Launch and support a BIPOC CEO affinity group (also launched in June); and 4) Establish a framework for member commitment to advance racial equity as a network that includes an equity statement and a construct for an equity pledge for members to sign onto to signal their support for the work.
We understand that members are at different points in this journey, but also believe that you are all committed to this critical work and recognize the need to be intentional. We also acknowledge the role and power of the collective network to make meaningful advances in addressing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in our sector. The pledge may contain both language and items that differ from what you have already adopted for your organization. Our goal here is twofold: that the pledge be broad, and that your company’s policies and practices address the elements identified in the pledge.
Sign on to HPN Equity Statement and Pledge for transparency around member commitment
Assessment of, commitment, and internal efforts to achieve boards, staffs and staff leadership that reflect the diversity of the communities the member resides in and serves
Commit to providing Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Training to all board directors and staff
Commit to interrogating and changing 1 – 3 corporate practices, policies, products or services that have disparate impact on clients of
Perform an equity assessment of organization spend going forward, and increase spend with BIPOC owned and/or led businesses by x percent
Conduct internal organization review of communications to transition to narrative using racial equity lens; Advocate locally for same
Advocate with respective congressional delegations and/or administration as part of campaigns