Racial discrimination is immoral. Four simple words. The frustration of black residents is real and sadly justified because some people cannot recognize and honor the truth of those four words.

At its heart, community development is the process of change by the community and for the community. That change takes many forms – quality affordable housing, health and wellness, quality education, economic opportunity, an equal voice in decision making – but true change is not possible or sustainable if people live in the daily reality of discrimination and the fear of injury or death simply because of the color of their skin or if the systems that serve them have racial inequity built into them.

Change is possible when people of good will join together to demand change, to work for change, and to model that change in their daily lives. The Northside Leadership Conference was created 40 years ago on the premise that injury to one of us is injury to the whole, and that by working together for all our neighborhoods, for all our residents, we can make positive and sustainable change. That challenge is before us again. Northsiders will unite again to make that needed change. We must.