The Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® formed an Equal Opportunity Committee in 2005. The committee is charged with creating education awareness programs, communicating changes in the fair housing laws, and assisting in the implementation of fair housing procedures.
When was your diversity group formed and how is it structured?
Our Equal Opportunity Committee was formed about 15 years ago. Our incoming committee chair recruits members to serve on the committee in addition to seeking volunteers who are interested in serving.
What was the catalyst that started it?
We recognized that a more intentional focus on fair housing was needed.
How is your group tackling diversity, equity, and inclusion?
The committee’s work guides many of our programs and activities. We made fair housing a central part of our recent virtual education day by hosting “Window to the Law: Fair Housing Update.” The committee chair actively encourages our membership to take advantage of the fair housing materials and videos available through NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now program, and shares these resources through our weekly newsletter and Facebook page.
Our committee and staff also seek guidance from Texas REALTORS® and NAR. Fred Underwood, NAR’s Director of Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, has provided great perspective over the years. We also prioritize education by participating in NAR’s At Home With Diversity program and diversity courses hosted by Texas REALTORS®. The committee also plans an event in April to commemorate Fair Housing Month.
What advice would you share with others who want to make positive contributions to further diversity in real estate?
Meet monthly and include as many committee members as possible. We may think our communities are not affected by the same issues as the rest of the nation, but truth be told, we are one nation. By forming committees and working together, we can accomplish our goals of addressing difficult issues in the news, in events and education, and in real estate and politics. We must be united in the cause.