Honoring Black History Month
Over the past few months, Melton has examined the things we can do to positively change our country’s deeply rooted injustice systems. We are committed to ensuring that all people, homes, and communities are respected and celebrated. Designing and building homes in Boulder county may only be a niche of work we do and people we work for. Still, we want to support inclusivity standards being used throughout the homebuilding industry. So in honor of Black History month at Melton, we’re committing to making these small yet important changes in the way we talk about remodeling.
We identify with the words of Isabel Wilkerson on going into the basement of an old house.
“Our country is like a really old house. I love old houses…but old houses need a lot of work, and the work is never done—and that’s what our country is like. You may not want to go into that basement, but if you really don’t go into that basement, it’s at your own peril.”— Isabel Wilkerson
So let’s go into that basement and start fixing things!
In this field, there are many terms that we’ve realized don’t align with our values of being inclusive.
The main example being, master bedroom and master bathroom. Following the Houston Association of Realtors’ example, we’ve decided to phase out these terms that are commonly used in the real estate business and rooted in racial ignorance. We will now refer to the master suite as the primary suite/bedroom/bathroom. (The word “master” carrying connotations of slavery).
Other terms often used in our work that are similarly problematic include: ‘his & hers’, ‘jack and jill’, and ‘head of the household’
(assuming a male head of household). These terms have sexist and heteronormative overtones and do not support our view that all genders and sexual orientations are respected and valued. As such, we’ve added these to the list of words to phase out. We’ll use the words’ dual’ or ‘shared’ instead.
Finally, the term “walk-in closet” will be phased out of our vocabulary and replaced with ‘Dressing Room’ or ‘Wardrobe’, to respect those with different levels of physical ability.
These changes feel small, but big change comes from lots of little changes and the willingness to do the work. We will continue to support all community members and do our best to listen and to support marginalized groups in our community.
Please let us know what you think about these choices and if there are other terms in this field we need to phase out. We’re excited to hear from you.