Our guest blogger today is John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
President Obama has designated February as African American History Month, a time for the nation to recognize the significant achievements of African Americans and their contributions to our country’s heritage.
Individuals like Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Norma Sklarek, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., and scores of others powerfully demonstrated the wealth of their abilities, the collective strength of their beliefs, and the unwavering commitment to realizing dreams that were not easily attainable.
The belief that those dreams might one day become reality for every person who calls America home stirred in African Americans a sense of duty and love of country, which led them to shed blood in every war we have ever fought, including the Civil War; to invest hard-earned resources in their communities with the hope of self-empowerment; and to pass the ideals of America down to their children and grandchildren.
The spirit of determination and sense of urgency remain alive today to rise above the injustices of our time. At the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, HUD, and the Obama Administration generally, we are committed to addressing discrimination and structural inequalities – from disparities in education and health care to the vicious cycle of poverty – that threaten African American communities and the nation as a whole.
America continues to advance to its ideal, where everyone, whatever their race, religion or disability, has the same opportunities. Through a shared commitment to the ideals of justice and equality we can eliminate the obstacles that have kept some segments of our society from having access to all this country has to offer.
As we begin African American History Month 2011, we honor the many African Americans who have worked and struggled to bring us to where we are today by rededicating ourselves to carrying on the fight for fairness and inclusion.
African American History Month lays the foundation for the future.