Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee

Cambridge Housing Authority Hosts Black Lives Matter Community Art Project.
(Source: YouTube/Cambridge Housing Authority)

How It Started

On June 3, 2020, the Cambridge Housing Authority released a written public statement in support of calls across the country seeking justice for the then-recent killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of law enforcement. The peaceful protests, attended by millions of unified Americans, brought a renewed push to the issues of racial inequities and unfair treatment toward black and brown communities.

In the statement, the CHA acknowledged the difficulty and sadness that many of its staff members were dealing with at the agency in trying to cope with the heated racial climate, before concluding,

“We stand with those who are actively and peacefully demanding a system that is equal to all and free from abuse of power, because in order for all lives to matter in America, black lives must matter too.”

Cambridge Housing Authority, June 3, 2020

Then it was time to help do something about it. Within days, the agency’s first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) was formed to help guide the agency on these matters and more. This inaugural group is comprised of CHA employees from various backgrounds, departments, and experiences.

Executive Director Michael Johnston is a participating sponsor of this effort.

DEIC Mission Statement

To celebrate the power and agency of authentic experiences and self-identities. Pillars of this committee are centered around reflection, honesty, and promoting dialogue to compassionately reach forward-thinking solutions and policies that can address systemic inequities or healing. This dedicated collective further demonstrates the Cambridge Housing Authority’s reaffirmed commitment to uplift individuals and groups who are affected by these issues and who, undoubtedly, allow our workplace and communities to flourish in an equal manner.

DEIC member and Deputy Director of Planning and Development, Clara Fraden, encourages participants at the CHA’s community art project to paint two Black Lives Matter street murals on Washington Street in Cambridge. Oct. 24, 2020
(Photo: Catherine Hammond)