March for Our Lives

Jane Graf - Mercy HousingDear Colleagues,

I don’t know about you, but I am energized and inspired by the youth of America! Who could have imagined the wisdom, commitment, focus, and organizing savvy displayed this past weekend at the “March for Our Lives”? Just the name: “March for Our Lives” coupled with the title of the movement “Never Again” conveys the real urgency of this issue, something many adults in powerful positions have failed to convey for many years. The speeches were magnificent. Their profound life changing experience has thrust them into action and they are articulate and informed on the issue. I have not felt this hopeful in a very long time!

At Mercy Housing it is our vision to create a more humane world, and we continually strive to live up to this commitment. Providing affordable housing offers us an intimate look into the communities we serve. With over three decades of work behind us, we have witnessed prolific changes in American society. With this change we have seen the profound damage brought on by the increase in gun violence. As a result, we are talking about how to become a “trauma informed organization.” How do we continue to evolve and support the communities we serve? So much of our work supports the future of our youth and I for one am ready to follow them on this journey to change the world. This past weekend was proof and a testament to the phrase “youth are our greatest strength and the future of our society.”

Like the founders of Mercy Housing, the youth of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School looked around and said, ‘we can do better.’ Their progress inspires me; their fearless pursuit of a solution gives me hope. The power of speaking out and participating is what built Mercy Housing. The “Never Again” movement has accomplished more in the 41 days since the tragedy in the name of gun control reform than the previous decade. No matter what you believe the solution to be, we can all agree on the collective power of these youth and their profound lesson to us all; we can make a difference and hope is alive!

Jane Graf