Mercy Housing’s Commitment to Advancing Racial Equity
At Mercy Housing, we believe in fostering a diverse and equitable environment. Our collective approach keeps communities inspired to share their passion, talent, and ideas. We are dedicated to facilitating an inclusive culture as we serve society with respect and dignity. Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion remain vital to achieving our mission, values, and advancing the common good.
The work to advance racial equity is part of a national movement among public agencies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations to tackle institutional racism.
Throughout Mercy Housing, this work has been happening for decades. In light of the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, and the national civil rights movement demanding justice, this work takes on increased urgency. For some, this urgency is long, long overdue. For others, it is a new awareness of the disparities caused by systemic racism. Focusing on equity is important. Mercy Housing was founded on and is guided by the values of Respect, Justice and Mercy. Equity and addressing systemic racism is an integral part of achieving our mission and putting our core values into action.
How we define — and act upon — three important terms:
Racial Equity: Closing the gaps in employment, education, health, housing and wealth so that race does not predict one’s success, while also improving outcomes for all. To do that we must intentionally target strategies to focus on improvements and close gaps so that all are successful, and move beyond services to focus on changing policies, institutions and structures.
Diversity: Including people from any number of demographic backgrounds and identities and valuing the collective strength of their experiences, beliefs, values, skills, and perspectives.
Inclusion: Creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection—where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are valued. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action.
Where it all began
Mercy Housing’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts began at Mercy Housing Lakefront (then Lakefront Supportive Housing) in Chicago in 2000, supporting values of inclusion and the belief that “embracing diversity provides for a stronger community in which to work and live.” Projects and activities are designed
to help voice the viewpoints and opinions of staff and foster an understanding of how valuing different cultures within the organization makes us stronger.
In our 2020 — 2024 Strategic Plan, one of our five priority areas is to approach our work with racial equity, community partnership, continuous improvement, and guiding values in mind.
- Develop and implement an organization-wide framework that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion, with an emphasis on advancing Racial Equity.
- Develop resources for all our staff, leaders, and board members to learn about and foster the rich legacy and values of our Founding Communities of Catholic Sisters.
- Explore, learn, capture, and share best practices of community impact activities to support our resident community and leverage existing assets to the mutual benefit of the property and the broader neighborhood.
Mercy Housing is an equal opportunity housing provider and employer, dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion regardless of religion, sex, gender, national origin, disability, race, age, marital status, or sexual orientation.