Black Lives Matter
June 12, 2020
The directors and staff of the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund are saddened by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, and so many other Black Americans.
As an organization dedicated to relieving homelessness and hunger among vulnerable populations in the Bay Area, we see every day how our Black neighbors, along with other communities of color, bear the onerous burden of systemic racism that threatens both their livelihoods and their lives. And we stand with those protesting across the country and indeed across to world to say it loud and clear: Black Lives Matter.
The police violence that is suffocating Black communities is not random. It is part of a larger pattern of anti-Black oppression that has been with us for centuries. When it comes to housing, the effects of this oppression can be seen in the stark data on home ownership and homelessness in the Bay Area and beyond:
- 71.9 percent of White Americans own homes, compared to 41.8 percent of Black Americans
- 37 percent of the homeless population in San Francisco is Black, in a city where African-Americans comprise under 6 percent of the population
The roots of these disparities run long and deep. “Redlining” in the 20th century directed government resources, mortgages and other investment away from Black neighborhoods in favor of white ones. The use of eminent domain in the postwar years displaced Black communities for new homes, industry, freeways and BART lines, decimating entire neighborhoods and vibrant commercial corridors. And still today, soaring housing costs across the Bay Area are driving low-income Black families from their homes.
The bottom line is that the system isn’t working for Black communities; rather, it is working against them. Yet, our Black neighbors participate actively in our communities and give more of their wealth to charity than any other racial/ethnic group in the country. As a community and a society, the time for acknowledging and addressing this injustice is right now.
At the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund, we are doubling down on our commitment to provide critical support to Black households in need so they can pay for housing and food. In the next year, we will conduct a nine-county needs assessment to identify and address any gaps in our service provision. We also are enrolling our team in a period of training and reflection on race using this helpful syllabus developed by Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Season of Sharing has distributed $6 million in emergency assistance funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to an unprecedented need for assistance. Given how this crisis is disproportionately affecting communities of color, we are continuing to work with our partners to make sure these funds are helping our Black neighbors stay in their homes and keep food on the table for their families.
Looking forward, we are committed to supporting Black communities in addressing the structural barriers that threaten their households, livelihoods and lives.
The Season of Sharing Fund was founded on an abiding belief in “neighbors helping neighbors.” Today, our Black neighbors are crying out for help and justice. We hear you, we see you, and we stand with you.
Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund