By Nyesha Stone
We’re the trendsetters, the go-getters and the underdog. We’re also seen as a “renter” community.
According to ACTS Housing, there is a 40 percent gap between Black and White homeownership that they’ve been working hard to close. So, they put together a paneled discussion to discuss where to go from here.
Associate Director of ACTS Housing and moderator of the panel Dorothy York started the discussion by asking the panelist how we got here. The three-person panel included William Tisdale, president & CEO of the Metropolitan Fair Housing Council; Adam Carr, deputy editor of community engagement for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service; and Danell Cross, executive director of Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, Inc.
Tisdale started the discussion off with saying that it would take at least seven years to discuss the events that led up to this gap. He added that we can trace current problems back to slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining etc. We all know the reasons, but we have yet to find a solid solution.
Tisdale said he doesn’t like saying “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” because “you got to have the boots first.” The Black community has been stripped from having access to the resources and knowledge to advance the community forward.
For example, it may be illegal to not do business with someone because they’re Black, but it still happens. Banks, relators and many other institutions have been a road block in the Black community.
Cross said it’s time to change and add on to who’s a stakeholder because those who have the power to make a change don’t always.
“[We need to] create a strategy where we work together,” said Cross. “A multi-level strategy.”
Throughout the discussion, Carr discussed statistics and showed videos of Milwaukeeans fighting for their rights, such as the open housing marches.
“I thought it was important to share because the media keeps people from knowing that these types of marches happened on Milwaukee streets,” said Carr.
Each of the panelist agreed that ownership is the way to go. Cross brought up a point that the Black community loves to represent and say they’re from a certain neighborhood, yet we don’t even own our neighborhoods because we’re too busy renting.
ACTS Housing could help potential homeowners actually own a home.
To find out more about ACTS Housing, visit https://actshousing.org/.