PFI is proud to announce that among the latest events that the company has sponsored is the Fair Housing Poster Contest that took place on April 2, 2018. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act, the Fair Housing of Northern California has organized this event to educate the children in grades K-8 on diversity and fair housing.
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California have developed creative programs aimed to educate Marin children on the value of diversity, equality, respect, and human rights. These programs are available to both public and private schools as well as community groups and are free of charge. The organization has received national honors twice from HUD and is the only fair housing counseling agency in Marin County certified by the same.
In addition to the Poster Contest, PFI has also sponsored the Colors of Diversity event that happened earlier this month told by the master storyteller Kirk Waller. Kirk’s ability to present the stories in a captivating way teaches children important lessons on equality and diversity. Children can make the connection between the characters from the stories and the real life in a meaningful way. The stories can help children learn to treat everyone fairly and with respect. As the storyteller Kirk said, the point is to teach the children to “build bridges not fences.”
In recent years, there’s been increased attention on racial disparity in Marin County. Back in 2011, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) performed a routine audit and showed that the county failed to follow the fair housing and civil rights laws. The review also revealed that 80% of Marin’s residents were white and that the two minority populations including Latinos and Blacks are concentrated in specific geographic areas. As a result, Marin County has developed a plan to increase diversity and affordable housing for minority population groups and low-income residents.
According to Marin Independent Journal (MIJ) the percentage increase of employed Latinos in Marin county rose from 5 percent to 17.6 percent in the last five years. As a part of the agreement with HUD, Marin County will periodically review its actions to remove the impediments to fair housing choice. Many of Marin County’s employees are required to attend the eight hours of cultural intelligence training and managers and supervisors will be attending the anti-bias training for hiring.
As Marin County continues to welcome diverse populations to its communities, it is vital to prepare the children for the future where they will interact with people of different racial and economic backgrounds. Through events like the ones mentioned above, the Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California will strive to build more inclusive communities that are free of prejudice.