Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 52: Racism in Real Estate – with Emily Chenevert & Kenya Burrell-VanWormer

**** NOTICE:  We recorded this pod using Zoom audio but had a few technical issues. The audio quality wasn’t great and at some point, Zoom stopped recording altogether.  We were able to piece together a good episode but not the whole conversation.  I’m super bummed, but we all agreed, even if it’s not the full conversation, it’s still something we wanted to put out there. ****

Systemic racism has its roots in housing. Government policies deliberately disadvantaged Black and Brown people, and that’s led to segregated communities, educational inequalities, and a substantial wealth gap. So, what can we do as an industry to address these disparities and better serve ALL of our clients?

On this episode of Industry Relations, Emily Chenevert, CEO of the Austin Board of Realtors, and Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, SVP of Diversity Solutions at T3 Sixty, join Rob and Greg to discuss the history of race discrimination in real estate, explaining how practices like redlining have stunted the Black community’s capacity to build generational wealth and why industry organizations need to recognize and publicly denounce the racism of the past.

Emily and Kenya share how the industry has improved, describing NAR’s shift to prioritize diversity and inclusion and exploring what organized real estate might do to further educate association members around equity moving forward. Listen in for insight on tackling homeownership disparities and learn what is (and what isn’t) our responsibility to do as an industry to address racial inequality in America.

What’s Discussed: 

The history of race discrimination in real estate (i.e.: redlining, racist land-use patterns)

How racism around housing has stunted the Black community’s ability to build generational wealth 

The government’s role in creating a wealth gap in the US

Why organizations like NAREB exist independently from NAR

Greg’s call for industry organizations to recognize and denounce the racism of the past (and what that might look like)

The shift from diversity and inclusion as an afterthought to a need within NAR

How we might educate association members around issues of equity

The lack of diversity among the leadership in real estate associations and MLSs

Why 25 of the 26 agents caught steering on Long Island are still working

Kenya’s insight on tackling homeownership disparity by way of education, opportunity, and resources

Emily’s experience with difficult conversations on race as Austin overhauls its land development code

What it’s our responsibility to do as an industry to address racial inequality (and what’s not in our lane)

Connect with Emily:

Austin Board of Realtors

Emily on LinkedIn

Scratch That Podcast

Connect with Kenya:

T3 Sixty

Kenya on LinkedIn

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


Michelle Mills Clement

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

How the GI Bill’s Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans’ in History

Discrimination in Levittown

National Association of Real Estate Brokers

Richard Rothstein

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

NAR Leadership Summit 2020

Bob Goldberg

The Chicago Association of Realtors’ Apology & Recommitment to Fair Housing

The Newsday Investigation on Steering

Fair Housing Act

M. Ryan Gorman

HAR Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Austin’s Land Development Code Revision

NAR’s Code of Ethics

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