The National Association of Realtors has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity initiative, as part of a broad national effort to examine economic inequality in America.
The program has earned the support of more than 400 organizations from across the country, with business and policy leaders assembling to advance economic inclusion and highlight several potential data-driven solutions to address inequality of opportunity.
“NAR has spent recent years reexamining how our 1.4 million members can best lead the fight against discrimination, bigotry, and injustice,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg in a NAR news release.“We believe that building a better future in America begins with equal access to housing and opportunity. With ongoing residential segregation contributing to many problems in our society, NAR recognizes that this nation cannot achieve true economic equality without first achieving true equality in housing. Our commitment to this cause and Fair Housing has only strengthened in response to recent tragedies in America.”
Earlier in June, NAR began circulating a 50-minute implicit bias training video to its members and association staff. The video draws upon recent research to illustrate how the human brain’s automatic, instant association of stereotypes with particular groups can cause people to treat those who are different from them unfairly. Scientific evidence also suggests these biases persist despite people’s best intentions and often without conscious awareness.
NAR is also urging Realtor associations to consider revising their new member orientations and other mandatory education courses to focus on the delivery of equal services. This comes after NAR in January unveiled a new Fair Housing Accountability, Culture Change and Training (ACT) Plan, designed to position its members as industry leaders in protecting housing rights, it said in the news release.
“Working together with our federation of state and local chambers and association partners, we can better understand the challenges facing specific communities and help drive lasting solutions across the nation,” said Suzanne P. Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the news release. “We will use our influence, expertise, and convening power to serve our country at a time when the leadership of the business community is needed more than ever. And we commit to ensuring that the impact of our work reaches more people.”