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Habitat for Humanity response to the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action

June 29, 2023

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling to reverse affirmative action in higher education. I (Jonathan) testified on the University of North Carolina’s behalf early on, as both UNC and Harvard University argued to protect their affirmative action practices in this case. Habitat for Humanity International senior leadership wants to reaffirm HFHI’s commitment to our DEI strategy and more specifically, the importance of race in working to achieve our mission.

As a global housing organization, we know the crucial role both stable housing and education play in developing a solid foundation for families and communities to thrive. While there are arguments that reversing affirmative action to enact a race-blind process is more grounded in equity, we know from our work in advocating for decent, affordable housing that it is essential to acknowledge systemic barriers and biases. Creating race-neutral policies without addressing underlying inequities and racially exclusive practices only perpetuates inequity.

We recognize the unique challenges that under-resourced communities face because of these disparities, and we remain committed to HFHI’s role in advancing fair opportunities for all communities through the housing, advocacy, market development and other programs we provide to the Habitat network. We know how deeply committed each of you is to advancing thriving communities through the work you lead in your respective areas each day.

As an employer, our ministry remains committed to our equal opportunity hiring practices and building a more inclusive workforce and environment. We will closely monitor and share with the network the implications of the ruling on the broader nonprofit sector, which may be significant.

Today, we shared a statement on the court’s ruling on Habitat.org and on our social media channels. We encourage everyone to engage in open and constructive discussions about the implications of this ruling within and beyond our organization. 

Blessings,

Jonathan Reckford
Chief Executive Officer
Habitat for Humanity International

Natosha Reid Rice
Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Habitat for Humanity International

Adrienne Goolsby
Senior Vice President, U.S. and Canada
Habitat for Humanity International