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Building the Beloved Community and Ensuring Opportunity for All

Photo: Courtesy of Wade Lambert

Jonathan T.M. Reckford

CEO of Habitat for Humanity

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna

COO Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is propelled by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We devote ourselves to creating that world because we believe everyone — every single one of us, regardless of who we are or where we come from — deserves a dignified life and the opportunity for a better future.

But believing is not enough. So we build.

We build houses — and through those houses, we build the strength, stability and self-reliance that families need in order to achieve a better life. That better life is our primary goal. So when we build houses, we also build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds. We build paths to more connected communities. We build ways for all people to come together and share in the creation of a new world.

That new world allows access, equality and opportunity for all. That new world represents what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the Beloved Community.”

This year, as we mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. King’s tragic death and the passage of the Fair Housing Act just days later, we at Habitat renew our pledge to work harder than ever to help make the Beloved Community a reality.

The Beloved Community is fair. The Beloved Community is just. The Beloved Community is built on love. Not just any love, but as Dr. King said, “the love of God operating in the human heart.” That’s a practical love that requires participation. When that love is truly and fully present, it compels us to act.

It’s part of Habitat’s birthright. We began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to the equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating opportunity for all.

Born from that vision, Habitat began in 1976. Since then, it has grown into a global organization that has worked to live out the love that Dr. King spoke of. That love fuels our belief that making homeownership accessible and affordable for low-income families is a critical component to creating the kind of future that Dr. King envisioned.

With his emphasis on the Beloved Community, Dr. King gave us the blueprint. Folks of faith and perseverance have stewarded it and advanced it. Now it’s up to all of us to make it a reality.

Join us at habitat.org/TakeThePledge to learn how you can help make the Beloved Community a reality.

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