Like many other organizations in recent years, MAR has been reckoning with our history on race. This apology is the cumulative result of months of work by a member task force representing MAR’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Government Affairs committees. Informed by extensive research and stakeholder input, these documents establish the record of discrimination by MAR and the real estate industry which has prevented equal access to homeownership. Most importantly, it’s a call to action for ourselves and others to do the work that’s needed to achieve an equitable housing market for all people. We’re grateful to our partners at AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB for signing on to a letter of support of this work.
As one of the longest-standing Realtor® associations, we continue to reckon with our role in building injustice into history. To be specific, we must acknowledge and apologize for the hand the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® Association had in creating one of the most significant racial disparities in housing gaps in the nation—particularly for Black Minnesotans. We know we’ve benefited from a system that was set up to effectively lock folks out of opportunity based on race, for generations. Decades later, that system works largely as intended, and we are ashamed of our part in it. We were on the wrong side of history.
Our goals as an association are based in promoting strong, vibrant, sustainable communities. Our actions and inactions have caused us to fall short of realizing that mission. In fact, since its peak in the 1950s, the homeownership rate for Black Minnesotans has actually declined by a significant stretch (46% to 25%) rather than improved. We also know that real estate is one of the biggest wealth-building opportunities there is—by building barriers to it, we also built into the broader systemic oppression of people of color.
Though our membership only just recently elected our first Black President in the 135th year of our association, we are now beginning to reflect the diversity of our membership (and of our city) at the leadership level. And today, we’re making significant shifts in our own association that prioritize education around institutionalized racism in real estate, and support for opportunities for people of color. But it’s not enough. We’re also challenging ourselves to take action beyond our Association—we commit to championing policy proposals that will help remove barriers to homeownership for Black buyers and other people of color. Shame and sincerity alone don’t create meaningful change—we’re committed to making strides at the local, state, and national level around policies and practices.
And we are ready to listen. In creating these policy proposals, we are engaging communities who have been impacted by our discriminatory history and collaborating with experts in related industries and our own. We are committed to dismantling the harmful systems we helped build, and to working toward a day where fair housing is truly guaranteed for all. We hope you’ll join us.
Minneapolis Area REALTORS® Taskforce on Racial Disparities in Homeownership
Jackie Berry – 2022 Board Director and Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Pat Paulson – 2022 Board Director and 2021 Government Affairs Committee
Jen Piller Quade – 2022 Board Director and 2021 Chair, Government Affairs Committee
Doneva Rawls – 2021 Board Director and 2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Henry Rucker – 2021 Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Sheree Steele – 2021-2022 Government Affairs Committee
Denise Mazone, 2022 President
Carrie Chang, Chief Executive Officer
For more information:
- Please see our accompanying position statement on the issue:
MAR Position on Racial Disparities in Homeownership
- View our four detailed initial policy proposals here:
MAR Policy Proposals
Thank you to these partners in the Realtor® association community for their review and support of this apology. We look forward to continued collaboration as we work to create an equitable real estate industry for all people.
Are you interested in supporting this work?
We invite MAR broker offices and partner organizations to click below and indicate your support for this apology, and our ongoing work to close the homeownership gap in Minnesota. We will highlight your support on this page.
Broker and Partner Supporters
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