Rise’s Statement of Support for Racial Justice

Rise Community Development joins with its colleagues in the community development field across the St. Louis region and the rest of the country in decrying the systemic racism in our society and the ongoing tragedy of racialized police violence. The violent deaths of Black Americans in encounters with police have proved to be the most recent impetus for public protests regarding racial inequalities in this country, drawing attention to the need for urgent and significant changes to law enforcement. However, the broader movement at hand recognizes that police violence comprises only a portion of the injustices that have harmed Black communities for over 400 years in this country and that all of them must end to achieve racial equity.

We acknowledge the truth that racism pervades not just law enforcement, but exists systematically throughout our society, including urban planning and housing policy, and has served to privilege White Americans. Through the intentionally racist and segregationist policies of redlining, exclusionary zoning, and discriminatory lending, many Black Americans have been denied opportunities to build family wealth. Combined, these practices have curtailed access to higher education, full participation in the economy, and overall financial health and stability for their families.

Our mission is to partner with communities to build stronger, more equitable St. Louis area neighborhoods. Now more than ever, we at Rise recognize that the work we do exists within a deeply unjust society and that we must recognize our power, privilege, and ensuing responsibility to dismantle systems of racial oppression.

We acknowledge that our work in housing and community development is imperfect and cannot serve as a panacea for the racial injustices at hand in our communities. However, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting equitable neighborhoods and racial justice both in our work with partners and internally within our organization by committing to becoming an anti-racist organization. We support strategic interventions that interrupt patterns of systemic oppression and seek full accountability to the communities of color with whom we work.

In solidarity,

Rise Board, Staff, and Volunteers