Together, we are the Homelessness Advocacy, Research, and Collaboration (HARC) Lab at DePaul University. We address issues faced by people without access to stable housing. We acknowledge that racism, economic injustice, and oppression drive housing inequity. As university members, we recognize the need to create a learning space that is safe and accessible to all. Thus, the HARC Lab commits to demonstrating principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (DEIAA). It is our mission to live out these values in meaningful ways. We aim to contribute to structural change within and outside of the university.
All members of our team had the chance to contribute to this statement and vote on its approval. We understand that our stated values are not an endpoint. Rather, they are our guiding framework. We know this work requires continuous, active engagement. It requires a willingness to critically self-reflect and enact meaningful change. In parallel, we consider this a living document that we will update and revise annually with all members of our team as we continue to grow.
Diversity refers to individual differences based on lived experiences and social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, etc., and their intersections. It encompasses the full range of social identities and their relations with systems of power and privilege.
The concept of equity acknowledges that historical injustices have given certain groups of people advantages at the expense of other groups. Therefore, equity means working towards justice and fairness by providing support proportional to need, so that all have equal outcomes.
Inclusion means actively creating safe space and opportunities for individuals who might otherwise be excluded.
Accessibility means creating an environment that accommodates individuals with varying aspects of ability.
Anti-racism is the active process of dismantling racism in all of its forms. Anti-racism is not simply a belief against white supremacy; it involves acting against racism.
DEIAA is a shared societal responsibility. It is up to each of us to come together, listen to one another, and collectively figure out the best ways to ensure that all persons have equal access to the opportunities and resources needed to achieve their goals and dreams. Here in the HARC Lab, DEIAA informs how we approach issues related to homelessness and homeless service systems. We invite you to engage in this necessary work with us because we believe that ensuring the fundamental right of housing for all is rooted in understanding and changing historic systems of injustice.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and anti-racist work can take on many forms, and it is a brand-new concept to many. We encourage all individuals, no matter where they are in their journey, to continue to engage, learn, reflect, and approach these topics with compassionate curiosity. For individuals who may be at the beginning of their journey, here are links to some starting resources. They are not meant to be fully comprehensive; rather, they are a starting point.
HARC lab is a research lab focused on housing issues. We know that homelessness is tied to a history of unfair and racist rules and laws. We also want to promote a community of care for DePaul University students and the communities with which we work. For these reasons, we commit to acting by values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-racism (DEIAA). This means that:
We view acting on DEIAA values as a shared duty. We work together to make sure everyone has access to what they need in order to reach their goals. Our values also inform how we do research. We believe that housing is a human right. In order to ensure this right, we have to change the unjust systems that are part of our history.