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Affordable Housing News Article


Why Affordable Housing in a Black Neighborhood May Not Help Black Residents, Washington Post Article, August 2016. SAN FRANCISCO — The Willie B. Kennedy Apartments are exactly what the neighbors have been wanting: new affordable housing in a market with little of it, homes for seniors in a city flush with young tech, real investment in a historically black part of town that has long been losing its black population.

But residents of San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood won't be prioritized when the wait list opens today for the 98 studios and one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors here. Last year San Francisco passed a law that would reserve 40 percent of units in new affordable housing projects for people from the communities surrounding them. It gave hope to residents of this rapidly changing neighborhood that they'd have the first chance to live in the new building, financed in part with federal money.

Read Full Article Here


Willie Ratchford Receives Mayor's Award


During the December 8, 2015 City Council meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, Willie Ratchford, past President,  NAHRW, received the Mayor’s Award in Honor of Richard Vinroot for citizens who demonstrate leadership to the community through selfless service. For all of us who know this "Servant-Leader, it comes as no surprise that he has been recognized
for this great honor.  


The executive director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations
Committee, Willie is responsible for developing, directing and implementing
programs and activities to maintain and improve community relations and directing
and reviewing equal opportunity investigations and discrimination complaints.
He also advises committee members and recommends solutions for community
problems while providing staff training in antidiscrimination laws, ordinances and


Willie has been active in civil rights for more than 34 years and is the recipient of
multiple awards and recognition in our profession.  This recognition includes, but is not limited to, the 1998 Charlotte Area Peace Corps Association’s first “Peace Prize”, the 2005 Individual Human Rights Award from the National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW), the 2006 Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for Race Relations, presented by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the 2008 Spirit of Detroit Award, and the 2011 Mecklenburg Ministries Community Leader Award.  He has been an expert advisor and consultant to me and many who are copied on this e-mail and I am grateful for both his counsel and friendship.


From one past NAHRW President to another, a big “Congratulations,” Willie, on always leading by example and being recognized for the life that you have lived for more than three decades.  Your life has continuously represented the values and tenets of NAHRW, Human Relations, and Human and Civil Rights.  We are all proud of you!


Anthony W. Wade, PhD, APM, PHR, SHRM-CP

Posted Dec. 22, 2015



In Memoriam of J. Fred Cloud


The Rev. J. Fred Cloud was meber and editor of the Journal of Intergroup Relations (JIR), for the National
Association of Human Rights Workers and the director the Metro Human Relations Commission for two
decades. Mr. Cloud also helped found W.O. Smith Community Music School, died Jan. 21. He was 90.


The Rev. Cloud began working with the Metro Human Relations Commission and directed it for 20 years,
until retiring in 1990. He amassed a collection of awards, certificates and honors for his work on human
rights, racial justice and fair housing, which continue to inspire the staff who work there today,
said Melody Fowler-Green, the commission's executive director, in a prepared statement.

"Indeed, a considerable number of 'firsts' in human and civil rights here in Nashville were achieved
through his leadership. We have no doubt that Nashville’s reputation as a warm and welcoming city is in
large part due to Mr. Cloud. The Commission intends to continue his good work," Fowler-Green said.


The Rev. Bill Barnes, a longtime Nashville housing advocate for whom Metro's Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing is named, said the Rev. Cloud was a longtime friend who was not afraid to speak his mind. They first met while Barnes was the pastor at Edgehill United Methodist Church.


"He wouldn't let personal criticism or anything like that deter him. He was very committed to human rights. He was very committed to the church and its role in fostering civil rights," Barnes said. "I think Fred is amazingly consistent."


Jazz and classical music were passions for the Rev. Cloud, who had previously served as a United Methodist pastor in communities across Tennessee. He sang in the Nashville Symphony Chorus for 15 years and the choir at Edgehill United Methodist Church for more than 40 years.


"Music fed his soul," Barbara Cloud said.


The Rev. Cloud combined his love of music, ministry and working with the underserved by helping make the W.O. Smith Community Music School a reality. The mission of the school is to make affordable and quality music instruction available to children from low-income families. Jonah Rabinowitz, executive director of the music school, said the Rev. Cloud navigated the legal hurdles the school needed to overcome in order to be established, and helped it gain a foothold in the Edgehill community.


"He was an incredibly generous man, an incredible supporter of low-income communities and the communities we work with," Rabinowitz said. "I honestly believe that without Fred Cloud the school would have had a very difficult time gaining footing within the Edgehill community. Certainly he helped smooth the process for us to open up our original facility."


Rabinowitz called the Rev. Cloud one of the world's nicest gentleman, and one of the saintly people who helps communities be the kind of place people want to live.


"If he felt something was important, he would do just about anything to help it succeed," Rabinowitz said.

A memorial service for the Rev. Cloud will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Wightman Chapel at Scarritt-Bennett.


Posted Feb.9, 2016


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