The following post appeared in our December edition of our monthly e-newsletter, Building Blocks. Sign up on our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates on our work!
As we begin the new year, it’s typical for a message like this to offer a preview of the year ahead.
I’d rather write about hope.
Though we face uncertainty at the federal level, the crisis of affordability in our city continues. Families struggling to find an affordable place to live or communities holding fast against displacement cannot suffer any diminishing of our ambition or weakening of our resolve.
Let 2017 be our year for hope, the year for our most ambitious goals. As we refuse to back away from bold action, let 2017 also be a year grounded in growth and service. If hope is the seed for our highest aspirations, then it must be nurtured with hard work and humility.
It’s a lesson we have learned through our work on the Liberty Bank Building. Expected to break ground later this spring, the project will provide 115 affordable homes, small business opportunities for African American owned enterprises, locally designed art and a thoughtful remembrance of the bank that once was there.
And yet, our vision of a completely inclusive community project has not always been flawlessly executed. We are accustomed to doing things a particular way. We work closely with community, but never before to the extent we are pursuing with the Liberty Bank Building. We don’t always get it exactly right. But that’s when we redouble our commitment to listening to and learning from our partners. I have watched that commitment rise organically from the bed of our culture and take root across our organization.
That gives me hope. It gives me hope that we can learn as an organization and grow in service to community. And it gives me hope that we can partner with communities overcoming disinvestment and institutional racism in ways that allow them to flourish under their own stewardship and dominion.
As we look forward to 2017, I encourage you to take one last look at 2016 through our annual community report. Thank you to our donors, supporters and partners who made our efforts possible.
Chris Persons, CEO