Statement from Real Estate Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Chairman and CEO, Ventas, Inc.) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer:
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.
Our industry must prioritize efforts to mitigate racism’s impact with nothing less than the ultimate goal to eradicate it.
We must be persistent with these efforts long after we recover from the coronavirus in the coming months.
The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor reflect deep systemic racism and injustice in America. These crimes are horrific but they are not isolated incidents.
As leaders in the real estate industry, and as citizens of our great nation, of course we must condemn overt forms of racism. Insidious forms of discrimination embedded in our governmental and economic systems must be as loudly denounced.
The Real Estate Roundtable must work harder than ever to reform our institutions so they empower folks with equal opportunities to thrive at home, at work, at school, and to rise out of poverty. Vandalism is not the answer, and innocent business owners should not be collateral damage particularly as they are trying to re-hire their workers after being shuttered for weeks. “Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots,” Dr. King preached – words that resonate profoundly during these turbulent times as they did in 1967. We should all pause and continually study his “The Other America” speech.
Without significant, measurable actions that make deliberate progress to halt abuse and inequality, our nation is destined to repeat again and again the failures of the past.
We must do our part to set the country on a new path. Black people, brown people, poor people, indigenous people, disabled people, LGBTQ people — the American people — must all be able to take it on faith that they are fully and equally protected under our laws and that hard work, education, and determination can take you where you want to go in life.
The moment for leadership is now. The Real Estate Roundtable commits to motivate meaningful and lasting change within our spheres of influence.
These are not hollow words. We consider it a moral and economic imperative for our industry and organization to take immediate and concrete actions that stand against racism and for inclusion.
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