It is a moral and economic imperative for The Real Estate Roundtable and CRE companies to take immediate and concrete actions that stand against racism and for inclusion, stated Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Chairman and CEO, Ventas, Inc.) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, in a statement issued on June 9. (DeBoer, above center, with Roundtable meeting attendees in 2019)
- The entire statement – “The Real Estate Roundtable Stands in Solidarity Against Racism and Injustice” – also notes, “Systemic racism and injustice is a pandemic that has plagued our nation for far too long. The real estate industry must help to eliminate at its core this scourge in our society and economy.”
- The statement preceded a discussion yesterday on “Real Estate’s Role in Addressing Racial Injustice” between Roundtable Immediate Past Chair William Rudin (Co-Chairman and CEO, Rudin Management Inc.), and Raymond McGuire (Vice Chairman, Citi and Chairman, Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory), during The Roundtable’s first Virtual Annual Meeting.
- McGuire said that fortunate opportunities for an excellent education is what made the difference in his life experience and that providing similar opportunities to African American youths is of vital importance. “I do see this as a defining moment. It’s a challenge we have to answer for history,” McGuire said.
- McGuire also discussed steps to combat systemic racism this week on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “We welcome the millions of dollars. We welcome the relatable messages, but we need to do more. Otherwise, it will have been another sad day in the neighborhood,” McGuire said.
- The Roundtable’s Board yesterday approved the establishment of a standing committee to further equal opportunities and address racial disparities in the industry, with the goal of taking specific actions to bring more career opportunities to African American and other historically marginalized youth.
- Ken McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), will join The Roundtable’s Board of Directors, along with three other new members, effective July 1. REEC is a professional trade association composed of minority leaders in the commercial real estate industry – and is now officially one of 19 national real estate trade association partners that The Roundtable coordinates with on industry policy issues.
Cafaro and DeBoer’s statement concludes, “The moment for leadership is now. The Real Estate Roundtable commits to motivate meaningful and lasting change within our spheres of influence.”
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