During week two of the 2023 Community Justice Challenge, our community explored redlining’s continued impact on housing access and how homophobia, racism, transphobia and other forms of discrimination drive homelessness and its criminalization. This dialogue provided insight into why legislation is essential to ensure all citizens can obtain safe and stable living conditions without discrimination or marginalization. By utilizing this knowledge to inform careful decision-making, we’re learning to create positive change toward justice within our communities with each unified step.
Day Six: Redlining
Week two began with discussions surrounding our nation’s complicated history with redlining. Through a series of readings and videos, our community explored the history of this discriminatory practice implemented in the 20th century. Together, we uncovered its lasting, detrimental effects on Black and other minority communities, nationally and locally, and the work still required to combat its residual effects.
- The Lasting Legacy Of Redlining (Article)
- Segregated by Design (Video)
- The Untold Story Of The Relationship Between Hip-Hop And Architecture (Article)
- Not Just Tulsa: Race Massacres That Devastated Black Communities In Rosewood, Atlanta, and Other American Cities (Article)
- Race, Housing, and Displacement in Miami (Article)
- The Walls that Divided Miami (Article)
Day Seven: Racism & Homelessness
On day seven of the Community Justice Challenge, we focused on the intersecting topics of racism and homelessness. We leaned into conversations that provided a clear look at how many homeless individuals are disproportionately criminalized due to lack of access to affordable housing, leaving them more vulnerable to profiling and other forms of discrimination. We discussed how racism is a driving force behind homelessness and how this reality reinforces systems of oppression. In addition, we explored the role of domestic and sexual violence in the homeless crisis, as well as our role in ending this cycle in our community.
Racism & Homelessness Resources:
- Centering Racial Equity Is Critical to Ending Homelessness (Article)
- The Intersections Between Domestic and Sexual Violence, Racism, and Homelessness (Video)
- Native People Still Outsized Share of Homeless (Article)
- Police Program in Tampa, Florida, Disproportionately Evicts African American Families (Article)
- Programs to end homelessness fall short for Black veterans (Article)
Day Eight: Criminalization of Homelessness
Day eight of our challenge centered on the criminalization of homelessness. We explored how laws that target those without homes exacerbate their suffering and create a cycle of incarceration and displacement which, in turn, affects communities. We looked at local activists rallying for an end to the criminalization of homelessness in Miami and educated ourselves on actions already in motion throughout the country to better protect unhoused Americans.
Criminalization of Homelessness Resources:
- The Vicious Cycle of Incarceration and Homelessness (Video)
- The Top Five Ways Criminalization of Homelessness Harms Communities (Resource)
- The Homeless Bill of Rights (Resource)
- Activists Rally to Prevent Jail Time for Miami’s Homeless (Article)
Day Nine: LGBTQ+ Community, Homelessness & Housing
On day nine of the Challenge, we focused on the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, specifically regarding homelessness and housing. We discussed the disproportionate rate of homelessness amongst LGBTQ+ youth in America and examined how gender identity and sexual orientation frequently leave individuals more susceptible to discrimination in housing and job applications. In addition, we explored stories of change in our community that demonstrate the power of unity and justice-oriented action.
LGBTQ+ Community, Homelessness & Housing Resources:
- LGBTQ Youth at Higher Risk Of Facing Homelessness (Video)
- Ryan Berg: 40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBTQ…Why Aren’t We Mad? (Podcast)
- LGBTQ seniors fear discrimination when searching for housing (Video)
- Joe Trembly Wants to Open Doors to Broward’s Homeless LGBT Population (Article)
Day Ten: Access to Housing
On the final day of Housing Week, we discussed how race and discrimination affect access to housing and income in minority communities. Participants learned how housing market practices lead to unjust undervaluation of minority-owned properties, and we experienced stories of income discrimination (and how to combat these instances). Together, we discussed how it is our responsibility as community members to advocate for equal access to housing for all individuals in our community, regardless of race or background.
Access to Housing Resources:
- Black Family Sees Home Value Increase $500K After Erasing Themselves From Appraisal (Video)
- Black and Hispanic Renters Face Greatest Threat of Eviction in Pandemic (Article)
- More Asian Americans Are Becoming Homeowners, but They Still Face Barriers in the Housing Market (Article)
- Your Money’s No Good Here: Combatting Source of Income Discrimination in Housing (Article)
- How Organizers Won a Tenant’s Bill of Rights in Miami-Dade County (Podcast)
- Study – Homes in South Florida’s Black Neighborhoods are Undervalued (Article)
Our work to support and provide for the neighbors of our homeless community does not end here. Join YWCA South Florida in creating a truly equitable environment for all its residents by furthering your education and getting involved beyond this week:
- Read about and sign onto the Miami Housing Justice Agenda
- Volunteer at LifeNet4Families, which serves homeless and food insecure individuals and families in Broward County.
- Learn more about how to find affordable housing resources in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Week Three Preview: Music
Are you enjoying the challenge so far? Help us spread the word to those in our community and encourage them to register before next week’s conversations begin. Join us next week to learn more about the legacy of musician activists, the cultural appropriation of music, racism in the industry, music’s place in opposing gender stereotypes and the accessibility of music education.