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Archive for August, 2011


26 Aug , 2011

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

This weekend is the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial.  This speech is a lasting reminder to the leadership that this man offered to help our nation move toward its stated vision of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.  A statue memorializing Dr. King was to be unveiled in Washington, DC this weekend, but has been postponed due to the inclement weather expected from Hurricane Irene.

Dr. King is my all-time hero.  He was a man of deep faith who was eloquently able to speak truth to power and, through love, envision a new way of living for our country.

The legacy of slavery and racial discrimination still lingers with us today despite many great strides that our society has made.  Housing is an area that has had its share of issues around race.  It is most evident in the chicken/egg scenario of the need for wealth accumulation in order to become a homeowner that then propels further wealth accumulation.   In an earlier entry on this blog, I shared that the disparity in wealth between white and black Americans was trending negatively.  A Pew Research Center showed that:

The median wealth of white households is 20 times greater than that of black households…These ratios are the largest in the quarter century since the government first published such data.

Much of this disparity is due to disparate homeownership rates and the longevity of homeownership.

My own children, who are of mixed racial background and have dark skin, will tell you that they feel that others draw negative conclusions about them based on their skin color.  They have exponentially more opportunity than they would have had in 1963, but 48 years later there is still much, much more to do.

This weekend, I’m hoping that we look back and remember the man who provided such timely and vital leadership to a movement whose time had come, but additionally we continue to commit our nation to realizing the dream so eloquently stated in our country’s founding documents and again on that day in 1963.

Text and audio of the I Have a Dream speech is available at:

21 AUGUST 2011 | peace and solidarity

21 Aug , 2011

On September 11, 2001, I remember being in a conference room at the Indianapolis Convention Center for our daily staff briefing for Habitat’s 25th Anniversary Celebration event that had begun the day before.  We had a TV in the room that was showing live video of what we have now come to know, not as accidents, but as aggressive acts of terrorism.

I’m sure you remember where you were that day as well.  Those events dramatically changed our world and our anniversary “celebration,” but what better place to be than reflecting on the unity and love that Habitat embraces so well?  This September 11, ten years later, I’ll be at 515 Parnell Drive in Raleigh celebrating that peace and solidarity with those from the three Abrahamic faiths gathered together to build a home with a family in need.   What better place to be?   I hope you’ll  join us for a special Sunday morning celebration on that important day – visit our website for more information.

That is Habitat’s “theology of the hammer” in practice—as people of faith we may disagree on many different things, but we can all agree on the hammer as an instrument of God’s love providing simple, decent homes for those in need.  I’m looking forward to our upcoming Abraham Build this fall.

As a Christian, I love how Habitat lives out the best of our Christian tradition, by inviting everyone in regardless of faith background to share the love with those in need.  Join us this fall for the Abraham Build in the Long Acres community, where we will be building a house and much more.

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
2420 Raleigh Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27604-2235
Phone 919.833.1999
Fax 919.833.8256
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County ReStore

Store hours:

  • Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays and Mondays