If these inventions are part of your life, you have experienced Black History:
The first home security system: Marie Van Brittan Brown
The traffic light: Garrett Morgan
The chemical synthesis of medicine from plants: Percy Lavon Julian
Incandescent light bulbs: Lewis Howard Latimer
3 of 9 patents for the IBM personal computer: Mark Dean
Of course, there are many more. And in real estate, there have been those in history who broke barriers and built opportunity within the industry.
On June 15, 1904, with the help of other affluent blacks, Philip A. Payton chartered the Afro-American Realty Company. He appealed to black investors specifically, their social justice and profit motives, with an ad stating: “Today is the time to buy, if you want to be numbered among those of the race who are doing something toward trying to solve the so-called ‘Race Problem…The very prejudice that has heretofore worked against us can be turned and used to our profit.”
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB) was founded in Tampa, Florida, in 1947 as an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy organization for African American real estate professionals, consumers, and communities in America.
Discrimination lives in the mind-space of devaluing people as a group, and then creating barriers to their ability to succeed; such as redlining, housing segregation programs initiated by the Federal Housing Administration, and environmental injustice, among other tactics. And the impact of discrimination seeps into all communities and experiences. Positive change begins with awareness, education, and then strategic action.
Every industry today is holding up a metaphorical mirror to gauge its contribution to the problems, and its ability to develop solutions through the application of a diversity, equity and inclusion, (DEI) lens. Without awareness and education, there is no lasting change.
The National Association of REALTORS®, (NAR), has publicly stated both its apology for past practices, as well as its commitment to training and professional standards in efforts to combat discrimination in our nation’s real estate markets.
Many state and local associations, such as the California Association of REALTORS®, (CAR), have followed suit in commitments to become part of the solutions that support fair housing.
In addition to training and stated commitment, many real estate organizations ask how they can take direct action in their markets. Again, I believe and know that change begins with awareness and education as the foundations to launch into strategic action.
Our DEI service offering at WAV Group is designed to help organizations and brokerages build awareness, education and effectively plan their customized strategic DEI action plans. If you or your organization would like our help in creating a customized and tangible DEI strategy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org