Statement by WHEDA CEO Joaquín Altoro:
Throughout the nation, reports of hate crimes and racially motivated harassment against Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander community members have become all too common.
Damaging rhetoric surrounding the COVID pandemic has escalated to a surge in high-profile violence, including the mass shooting in Atlanta earlier this month in which six of eight people killed were Asian-American women.
Tragically, these behaviors are rooted in generations of malice and misunderstanding. And the outcomes have branched into disparities affecting all aspects of community members’ lives – in health, housing, education and economic opportunity.
Here in Wisconsin, WHEDA recognizes the destructive legacy and continued impact of racism in its many forms. As an equal housing lender, WHEDA is keenly aware of the data – including statistical shortfalls – that bear testament to the challenges many Asian borrowers face in buying homes, starting businesses and building credit.
WHEDA respects the diversity of heritage and history among Wisconsin’s Asian community members and understands that no single entity or solution will succeed in breaking down all barriers. In the aftermath of the recent tragedies, the partnerships and solidarity demonstrated by those in Milwaukee, Madison and other communities in hosting peaceful vigils offers hope for a new path forward.
Tomorrow, March 26, the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin is hosting a #StopAsianHate Virtual Wisconsin Day of Action and Healing along with AAPI organizations and community leaders across the country. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. More details for joining are available here. A day of action toolkit is available here for those who are unable to join the virtual event but who are interested in joining the conversation on social media.
WHEDA is committed to cultivating an ecosystem that achieves greater equity in affordable housing and economic opportunity. As part of this commitment, WHEDA denounces hatred in all its forms and rejects the stereotypes that stand in the way of greater understanding.
We look forward to continued learning and dialogue on topics surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. Please reach out with your ideas and comments to Jennifer.Sereno@wheda.com. To keep up with information about WHEDA resources and information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or sign up to receive emails here.