Our Single Garment of Destiny

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Letter from the Birmingham City Jail,” 1963

This quote appears on the home page of Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) a nonprofit working in Dallas, TX.

I wrote this post just hours before the shootings in Dallas last night. I almost decided to scrap it thinking that we are too raw to hear about ICP’s work right now. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I am convinced it is a fitting part of our reflections today as we mourn the recent shootings in towns and cities across our country. We can be fearful. We can be angry. We can cover our eyes in an attempt to shut it out. But the fact remains: we are tied in a single garment of destiny.

Single Garment of Destiny: Making the Best of It

So what can we do to make this mutual destiny a whole lot better than we’re living it now?

ICP has an answer that is simple to say, challenging to live out. ICP works for the creation and maintenance of thriving inclusive communities. What does this boil down to? The elimination of segregation.

The Supreme Court Agrees

Before you dismiss this goal as pie in the sky, listen to this. The Supreme Court agrees with ICP. I won’t attempt to outline here all of the legal issues that are part of the June 2015 decision. If you are interested, you can read the Supreme Court’s full decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, et al. Here’s the impact. Affordable housing must be distributed in a way that gives low income and minority families access to high opportunity, high growth areas.

Building Inclusive Communities

This legal case arose out of the advocacy component of ICP’s program. ICP uses the LEGAL TOOL only when cooperation isn’t working. For those who want to build inclusive community, ICP acts as a RESOURCE.

    • ICP researches to find out where racially and economically inclusive housing opportunities exist and then shares this key information with cities, other non-profits, and individuals.
    • ICP works with individuals looking for high opportunity housing.
    • ICP works with high opportunity communities: those that are looking to become more inclusive; and those that are already inclusive but are looking to become more vibrant

Here is what ICP says about its mission:

There are many things that cities, organizations, and individuals can do to promote and support inclusiveness, fairness, and opportunity in the community in which they live and work. The work can begin with understanding the value of inclusiveness to the overall health and well-being of communities in 21st century America. There are models of success and people willing to work with you to achieve the benefits of such communities. But you have to make the effort. Separation by race/ethnicity and class has historically been an organizing principle of our economy, politics and social circles. It won’t disappear overnight, but you can make a difference.

It won’t disappear overnight, but you can make a difference.

Share information about other people and organizations building vibrant inclusive communities.

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