What is the Beloved Community?
While noted Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not originate this term, he did popularize it as an ideal in many of his speeches and writings. The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia identifies the Beloved Community as "a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood." Because Habitat for Humanity International was founded on and operates by like-minded values, this past year also saw Habitat for Humanity International reaffirm its commitment to continue to do its part to help build the Beloved Community.
We believe we are likewise called to help build the Beloved Community here locally as we serve those in need of safe, decent, affordable housing in the counties of Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Nelson, and Prince Edward. We believe none of our neighbors should be forced to live with mold on the walls, rotting floors, leaking roofs, poor plumbing, and other substandard issues simply because that is all their limited income can afford. At the other end of the spectrum, neither should they feel compelled to spend the majority of their income on decent housing, thereby leaving little for healthy foods, doctor's visits, and setting some aside for savings. Simply stated, stable and affordable housing changes everything for a family. Health is greatly improved, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Children do better in school. Economic opportunity increases. And as families volunteer in building their home and the home of another, as they develop their God given strength, they are joined side by side with the community of volunteers, donors, and advocates that come together to build their home with them. As these new relationships are formed, as laughter is shared, as walls go up, we move one step closer to the Beloved Community.
We also recognize and affirm we are just one of many wonderful local organizations who share common goals to serve people locally, to help everyone know they matter, and to do it in a way that brings the community together to achieve these common goals.
If this vision resonates with you, we invite you to take the pledge to do your part in creating a Beloved Community here locally. We will then contact you about various opportunities for involvement in the mission of Habitat. Thank you.
I believe that every single one of us — regardless of who we are or where we come from — deserves a decent life.
Like Dr. King, I believe in a Beloved Community of justice, equal opportunity and love of my fellow human beings.
I want to help build a world that leaves no room for poverty, prejudice or violence.
I pledge to work together with my neighbors, side by side, to create strength, stability and self-reliance for all.
I ask others to join me — it’s up to us to make this a reality.