With this MOU, RRAR becomes one of several local REALTOR® associations who have pledged support and cooperation with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance across the country.
The goal of the MOU is to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ REALTORS® and provide RRAR with a diversity partner in the LGBTQ+ segment. Additionally the two groups will work to create awareness of discrimination and Fair Housing issues that impact LGBTQ+ home buyers and sellers.
“RRAR’s leaders, staff, and volunteers have always been focused on creating a safe environment for all our members,” 2021 RRAR President Brett Bushnell said. “Forming partnerships like this with national organizations only helps us take the many good things already in progress and make them great.”
RRAR recently hired its first Director of DEI, Michele Xiong, earlier in 2021. Ms. Xiong has already been successful at creating a direct line of communication with many of the association’s members who need to address concerns in the community, and creating programming to further the DEI efforts recently added to the association’s strategic plan.
“We all have a chance to leave a mark in a community,” RRAR CEO Andrew Sims said. “If we truly want to be proud of the mark we leave it needs to start with making sure there as many people at the table, in the room, on the Board, at the committee meetings as possible. We are still struggling to shine a light on discrimination that continues to occur in our society. Systemic issues require systemic solutions. I am proud to be working with Ryan and his team at the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance as well as their local leaders here in the Triangle to continue the fight for equality. That’s the mark we want to leave.”
This MOU is a direct product of the strategic planning and efforts of a presidential advisory group formed by 2020 RRAR President Lewis Grubbs called “Making Room at the Table” wherein a very diverse group of association members convened over several months to discuss solutions for several industry and local market issues they had observed.
“The work cannot stop here with these signatures,” Sims said. “We have to take it the next step further which is getting the majority to see that there are problems that need addressing. We will do that through education and cooperative events with our fellow association partners.”
RRAR has been working with other Triangle area REALTOR® associations over the past several months to put on programming and speakers focused on DEI topics and look to continue that into the future.
To learn more about the DEI efforts at RRAR, please visit www.rrar.com/together.