REALTOR AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
REALTORS – Join the program here!
The REALTOR Ambassador Program is launching – sign up now!
Click here to fill out the interest form.
Signing up to be a REALTOR Ambassador of the OWN IT: Building Black Wealth program means you commit to contributing a portion or percentage of your net commission earnings on every closed transaction to the OWN IT: Black Homeownership Down Payment Fund. The OWN IT Fund is fiscally sponsored by Forward Community Investments, a non profit 501c3 organization. Your donations will be tax deductible and you will receive a tax-compliant donation receipt with every contribution. You may need Broker approval for this program. Please inquire with your Broker directly with questions.
The real estate industry is ready for change. Many of us are taught to take a colorblind approach in real estate and in life. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s dangerous. It’s time to talk about it, commit to learning and exploring how to make changes.
Once you sign up you will also receive program updates and upcoming educational opportunities for real estate professionals to learn how systemic racism is embedded in the industry, how it impacts and exacerbates the generational wealth gap, and ways to be part of the solution.
We hope you will join us in the fundraising efforts within the industry by sharing this program with other real estate professionals you work with like your colleagues within your Brokerage firm, clients, other co-brokers, Lenders, Appraisers, and Inspectors. Funds raised go towards the downpayment program to be used by families, alumni, and staff at One City Schools.
If you’d like to make a one time contribution: make checks out to Forward Community Investments or FCI, in the memo please note: OWN IT Program, and mail to 2045 Atwood Avenue, Suite 101A Madison, WI 53704 or click here to contribute online!
Resources for Real Estate Professionals
The team of co-conspirators at OWN IT: Building Black Wealth are on a mission to to empower, educate, and guide communities of color towards homeownership, wealth, and financial freedom. We acknowledge the systemic racism embedded within financial systems, practices, and policies, and we are committed to exposing and eradicating these structural barriers. Part of our commitment is to continue educating ourselves. We want to share that education with you. Here is a list of resources that we encourage folks to work through in order to become effective allies to Black and Brown homebuyers.
But before you dive into the resources, remember that the process of unlearning, opening yourself up to new truths, and unpacking your biases is one that you can’t complete on your own. It’s crucial to engage in conversation and review what you’re taking in with someone you trust, someone who is willing to go on the journey with you and support you as you navigate it.
It may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Commit to engaging with one of these resources every week and put it on your calendar. When you have a plan, you are more likely to succeed.
It’s time for all of us to take responsibility for our education and our desire for justice to change the narrative.
Racial Justice Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals
- Download (for free): Racial Justice Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals
- Book: The Color of Law, A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein
- Book: An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- Book: Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, by Andre Perry
- Book: Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Report: Snapshot of Race and Homebuying in America, National Association of Realtors
- Article: The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Article: This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry (JPMorgan employee investigation)
- Article: Black Poverty Is Rooted in Real-Estate Exploitation
- Article: Brokers Get Candid About Race in a New Study
- Newsday Investigation: Long Island Divided: Real Estate Investigation
- Book: How the Suburbs were Segregated, by Paige Glotzer
- Video: Long Island Real Estate Agents Investigation (Newsday). Read the article or watch the 40-minute documentary (scroll down to the first video)
- Video: Race: The Power of An Illusion The House We Live In Video (3rd video) – 1 hour
- Video: Segregated by Design (17 minutes)
- Podcast: Black Americans and the Racist Architecture of Homeowners (44 minutes)
- Podcast: Code Switch (NPR)
- Podcast series: Seeing White (Scene on Radio)
Organizations to Follow
- Seek local Black led organization for racial justice learning opportunities, partnerships, ways to contribute financially, and engage in the real issues in your community.
- PolicyLink (Housing): a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity
- NAREB: 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.
Taking it further
As you work your way through these resources, let them transform your daily habits. Start donating to Black-led organizations fighting for social justice. Look for opportunities to support Black-owned businesses in your community. Examine where your money goes—rent, taxes, grocery bills, whatever—and ask what good your money is doing in the world.
Learn about your own participation in the system by uncovering your own biases and internalized racism. Learn how white culture and white privilege impacts power dynamics in our relationships, our learned beliefs, and our socialization.