Real estate executives all across the country are speaking out publicly and using their businesses platform to show their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Following George Floyd’s murder last week, the country has entered into a state of civil unrest, and a wave of support from a multitude of businesses and industries have begun entering into the conversation. Regular citizens have been calling on celebrities and prominent public figures to use their massive following to spread awareness and help raise money for various causes benefiting black people, and real estate agents are answering the call as well.
The Miami Agent Magazine recently interviewed some of the more prominent real estate industry leaders in Florida about their thoughts on the current state of our nation and the two pandemics were currently fighting; Covid-19 and racism.
“Racism is wrong and Keller Williams stands with the Black community and wholeheartedly supports equality. Right now, communities across America are experiencing tremendous pain. This pain builds and grows exponentially with each name: George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown, and too many more. Each person had a story, a family, a home, and a life that mattered that was taken away from them. This company stands behind Black employees and clients, your lives matter. You are in our hearts and in our prayers,” said Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller in a letter to employees.
Keller also explained in the letter that his company would be creating a task force made up of members from the agencies International Associate leadership Council to provide extensive information and recommendations on how the industry, and Keller’s company specifically, can ensure they’re creating a space of love and equal opportunity for all.
For this task force Keller said he would be asking for nominations from each district to join in the effort. “I believe we can also set an example within the industry by committing more of ourselves to a better, and equitable future.”
“Redfin [another FL agency], like most other companies, is run mostly by white people.That needs to change. What’s behind the protests’ rage and despair is the sense that talk is cheap, and change is painfully slow. We love to denounce someone else’s racism, but it would matter more if businesses looked at our own contribution to a divided America and decided what to do about it,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in a statement to his employees as well.
Kelman later emphasized in the statement that all industry leaders in America right now have a moral obligation to create a safe space for their employees and open up a conversation about creating more room for black voices. He then encouraged all of his white employees to take a long look in the mirror and acknowledge their own racial biases. This month, Kelman also claims that Redfin will be publishing their annual employee diversity report, and it will include a new set of initiatives to further diversify the industry.
“Racism has no home here. This week I was invited to listen to our black employees share their pain and fear and confusion. For themselves. For their children. Every time they leave their homes. Enough. I am an ally. Racism has no home here,” Zillow CEO Rich Barton tweeted.
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin also issued a statement via Twitter: “Like so many Americans, I am absolutely heartbroken right now. I am heartbroken for George Floyd’s family. I am heartbroken for Ahmaud Arbery’s family. I am heartbroken for Breonna Taylor’s family. I am heartbroken that one tragedy that targets Black and brown Americans is following so closely on the heels of another tragedy that disproportionately hurts Black and brown Americans.”
The energy behind all of these CEO’s statements are exactly what America needs right now. Individuals with power, privilege, and the ability to make a true change in the field they work in coming forward and calling out the racism that has plagued this country since its creation. It’s important to feel safe in your workplace, and if you have a discrepancy over something that feels racially charged, you should feel even more comfortable discussing it with your boss, as that’s what all these protests are really about at their core; justice for those who have lost their lives to a corrupt system, and correction for a brighter future for black individuals in this country.
If you want to know more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can directly help from home, click here for access to dozens of petitions, donation pages, and fundraising efforts specifically for those fighting for racial equality right now.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.