Mercy Housing’s Commitment to Advancing Racial Equity
Mercy Housing was founded on the belief that housing justice is social justice. We live by the values of respect, justice, and mercy and commit ourselves to advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI).
REDI is the core of who we are. Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all of our work. They are central to Mercy Housing’s mission and impact. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex housing challenges of a changing — and increasingly diverse — country.
We continually take action to infuse racial equity throughout our internal culture, systems, and practices. Deliberate steps strengthen our ability to recruit and retain exemplary diverse staff and leadership. Mercy Housing regularly reviews policies, practices, and procedures to support our values and enable employees to do their best work so that residents feel a sense of belonging in the communities where they live.
REDI progress changes conversations and paves the way for deeper, more lasting, and inclusive change. Moving forward, we continue to view our progress through a racial equity lens that drives efforts to ensure that Mercy Housing’s culture reflects the racially just communities we want to see.
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.