OP-ED: We call on Gov. Hogan to be ‘anti-racist’ when it comes to housing security
Op-ed excerpt by President and CEO Kevin Lindamood and S. Todd Yeary, Senior Pastor at Douglas Memorial Community Church. Additional contributors are among the panelists in our year-long Community of Practice on Homelessness and include Baltimore City Councilman John T. Bullock; Lisa A. Cooper, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute; Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner; Susan Elias, Executive Director of Moveable Feast; Tara Huffman, Director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program within the Open Society Institute-Baltimore; Charisse Lue, a Staff Attorney with the Public Justice Center; Brandon M. Scott, Mayor of Baltimore; and Randi Woods, Senior Director of Community Care Coordination at Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc.
These past 15 months have highlighted structural injustices that have been too long accepted and perpetuated. Among them is the privilege of many to “isolate at home,” while others don’t even have a home. Data tell us what we’ve heard time and again: Black and brown communities experience higher rates of illness and death from COVID-19, limited access to vaccines, adverse treatment from law enforcement and little expectation that their government will acknowledge and equitably address their suffering.
It shouldn’t have taken more documented health disparities or a knee applying deadly pressure on a neck to identify the racism woven into our institutions, our systems, our policies and ourselves. As writer Ibram X. Kendi recently urged attendees at the 2021 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium: “If you do not challenge the status quo, you allow the status quo to persist. It’s no longer enough to be ‘not racist.’ We must be actively anti-racist.”
With as many as 200,000 renter households in the state at great risk of eviction and homelessness, we call upon Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration to recognize the humanity of Black and brown Marylanders with three immediate steps. These are among the actions that local coalitions and residents most affected by this pandemic (and every other major health crisis) are seeking...
Read the full piece at The Baltimore Sun.