By Nobu Hata
Preconceived notions I had of an NAR committee aside, this would be my third Midyear and my first year serving on any committee, and I was bound and determined to make the best of it.
I was appointed to the Equal Opportunity/Diversity Committee, and my knee-jerk reaction was essentially a surprise-surprise-throw-the-asiandude-on-the-most-predictable-committee-possible one. Even better: There were a total of two conference calls before what was supposed to be pivotal rulings at Midyear. How anything can be both “pivotal” but get allocated such little time to discuss, was beyond me. We were to have an open REALTOR(R) forum — where outreach to under-represented REALTORS(R) was to be discussed — and a formal committee meeting where those solutions would be refined into a cute NAR package. Visions of REALTOR(R) whine-fests were filling my head; cynicism was setting in.
I’ll admit it: I was totally wrong. The need for outreach, education, cultivation and training of leadership of YPN, GLBT, Asian, Hispanic, African American, and handicapped practitioners was discussed in the forum. Actual solutions were determined. Past-President Charles McMillan let it be known that the road to national involvement doesn’t necessarily mean 20 years of million-dollar production and political back-scratching. The red tape is gone; and it’s up to those with the desire to see change, to facilitate it. It was pretty clear that the EOC was passed trying to diversify NAR, frankly there are plenty of under-represented agents making money in this business. What we need is to stop the brain-drain by keeping their talent and knowledgebase within the NAR fold, rather than starting their own segmented groups. They need to be elevated and recognized, become representations of NAR membership and becoming advocates of NAR. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
I grew up in a hometown notorious for its horrible discriminatory history. In 1956, the high school was bombed when 12 students of color were desegregated into the school. Today, I look back on such acts and honestly cannot believe they happened. It seems like some goofy urban myth that someone would want to discriminate.
Today, from our country’s dramatic and rocky diversity history, we now find ourselves having to pass “rules,” “guidelines” and laws about how we should treat each other. While obviously we still have a long ways to go as a nation, the REALTOR(R) Party took a huge step at the Midyear meetings in D.C. to show this organization’s dedication to diversity and equal housing. I sat in my chair on the professional standards committee and watched a huge room of diverse people unanimously vote to add equal protection for sexual orientation to our Standards of Practice. There was no partisan bickering. There was no drama. There was no dissent. There was only a roll of applause when the chair announced it passed.
I could not be prouder to say I’m a REALTOR(R) today. Our organization took a step ahead of national policy and set the tone for others to follow. As YPN, many honestly don’t understand why we have to have these kind of words in our practice. I’m proud to say that sitting on the YPN Advisory Bward, hanging out with the “mindset” and being part of the amazing YPN culture, I never hear of, see or read anything that would raise a flag. As a former congressional race employee and growing up in the South, I’ve always heard “back door” discussions about races, genders, sexual orientation and the like; however, YPNers don’t seem to get it. YPNers are clueless. YPNers simply aren’t in the loop. What a wonderful compliment to be paid to our group! Continue reading »