We at the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® are outraged and grieving in the aftermath of the killing of fellow Minnesotan, George Floyd. As an organization committed to diversity and inclusion, we stand with George Floyd’s family, friends, and all who call for justice and accountability.
Our values and REALTOR® Code of Ethics demand “social responsibility” in pursuit of integrity and honor. We advocate for these higher goals at the local, state, and national government level and mobilize to ensure fair treatment for all people. These values were not represented by the conduct of the four former Minneapolis Police Officers implicated in Mr. Floyd’s death. We condemn their actions and call for justice to be served.
Moving forward we will use our collective voices and platform to redouble our efforts to remove racial inequities in Minneapolis and beyond. In partnership with our friends at the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® and Minnesota REALTORS® we welcome you to take advantage of the following opportunities to learn more and get involved. Check this page often as we will be updating it frequently.
Please join us in petitioning for change and contributing to local community organizations focused on rebuilding in Minneapolis. Together we will work toward a more just and safe community for everyone.
NAR Code of Ethics Changes
On Friday, November 13, 2020 the NAR Board of Directors approved revisions to the Code of Ethics that were recommended by NAR’s Professional Standards Committee. The changes were proposed in response to an influx of complaints NAR has received about Realtors® posting discriminatory speech and conduct online (especially on social media) following the social unrest throughout the country.
What changes were approved?
The NAR Board of Directors approved three main changes of the Code of Ethics as it applies to discriminatory speech and conduct occurring online by Realtors®:
• Applicability to Realtors® Activities: Expands Policy Statement 29 of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual (COEAM) to apply to all of a Realtor’s® activities.
• New Standard of Practice 10-5: Adds a new Standard of Practice under Article 10 of the Code of Ethics that says Realtors® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Revision to Public Trust: Expands the definition of “public trust” to include all discrimination against the protected classes under Article 10 of the COE and all fraud.
The NAR Board of Directors also approved a new Appendix 12 to Part Four of the COE Arbitration Manual which will lay out the proper application of the proposed SOP 10-5 to ensure consistent application.
When do the changes become effective?
The changes became effective immediately upon approval by the NAR Board of Directors on November 13, 2020. They cannot be applied to speech or conduct that occurred before November 13, 2020.
Where can I learn more?
NAR will be providing training and resource materials to help members understand the changes.
Since the killing of George Floyd on May 25, the ensuing unrest and calls for police reform, there have been several misleading claims and opinions on various social media platforms asserting that Minneapolis residents are fleeing the city. To assess the veracity of these claims, MAR’s Director of Research and Economics, David Arbit, took a comprehensive look at the Minneapolis housing market since Floyd’s death. He has analyzed the data from NorthstarMLS and compared major housing indicators in Minneapolis and other surrounding communities. David’s expertise separates facts from unfounded claims about the market.
Click here to read the result of that analysis. Then, watch the August 6 webinar discussing the white paper. It also features MAR’s Director of Government Affairs, Eric Myers, who provides an update on the reform efforts. The presentation slides can be viewed here. Read the September 2020 Minneapolis Market Update here.
While Minnesota has among the highest overall homeownership rates in the country, it is not equitably distributed. Approximately 70% of whites in the state own homes, compared to an estimated 43% of people of color who own homes in Minnesota. This gap has been persistent and is among the largest in the U.S. The Minneapolis Area REALTORS® is committed to helping close that gap as it strives for diversity and inclusion in homeownership – which is a core value of the association.
The first step toward change is awareness and understanding of the issue and our role in it. Historically, racism permeated the real estate profession. For decades, people of color were denied the REALTOR® designation, prompting the formation of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers in 1947. While we have made strides in increasing diversity among REALTORS® and association leadership since then, much more needs to be done and NAREB remains an important voice for African American real estate professionals. And long-held racial covenants that prohibited home sales to people of color in certain parts of the Twin Cities contributed to the segregation of our neighborhoods which have had lasting impacts.
Shining light on this painful past, acknowledging our mistakes and learning from them is part of the work that MAR is doing to help move forward. MAR’s efforts include the following:
• Supporting the Minnesota Homeownership Opportunity Alliance, which focuses on helping lower income households and communities of color achieve home ownership.
• Advocating for passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 which bans discrimination in the sale, renting and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or family status.
• Adopting a Statement of Inclusion and Non-Discrimination which broadens the protections to additional classes including sexual orientation.
• Providing financial support for the Mapping Prejudice Project which is uncovering how racial covenants in home sales segregated neighborhoods across the Twin Cities
• Educating our members with offerings like the virtual CE class Racism in Real Estate
• Engaging our members in racial equity issues through its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Awareness is the first step toward change and we welcome you to join us taking the next step by petitioning for rebuilding our systems and communities.
• The City of Minneapolis considered proposing a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention to a citywide vote. Jerry Moscowitz, chair of MAR’s Government Affairs Committee, gave an update in this video:
See below for additional opportunities to learn more and become engaged in changing our systems and policies to ensure equity for all.
• Listen to Testing The Divide – A Conversation With Bill Dedman about the investigative report on discriminatory practices of REALTORS® in several communities in New York.
• Watch this documentary from Twin Cities Public Television: Jim Crow of the North – Full-Length Documentary
• Just Mercy: Movie based on a true story of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, and from a book of the same name
• 13th: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
• White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – A sociologist examines the “white fragility” that prevents White Americans from confronting racism
• The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America is a nonfiction book on how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).
• How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
• Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing is a video on Implicit Bias and an online test.
• NAR Fair Housing Article: An overview of restrictive covenants and the Realtor role
• Rebuilding for Racial Equality: Steps to Take Action is a video from 2020 NAR President, Vince Malta, addressing rebuilding grants and what brokers and agents can do now to help communities.
• REALTOR® Magazine – Taking Action to Make Your Business Anti-Racist: Brokers and association leaders mobilize to address racial injustices in communities around America.
Donate Goods or Funds
Minorities are disproportionately affected by homelessness and the Minneapolis Area REALTORS has been supporting local organizations in their housing work for more than three decades. Since 1988 the MAR Foundation has been supporting housing and housing-related needs in Minneapolis and other cities in MAR’s service region of Hennepin, Carver, Scott, Sibley and McLeod Counties. To date, the Foundation has distributed more than $1 million to non-profits that provide housing assistance to the most vulnerable in our communities.
Last spring the Foundation took the extra step to provide $40,000 in grants to eight local non-profits that experienced a surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is currently assessing additional ways to respond to the affordable housing crisis in the Twin Cities.
See below for additional opportunities to donate to non-profits that are assisting in the recovery and rebuilding effort.
• Hunger Solutions: Map of where to give and get food.
• Mpls St. Paul Article: Where to Support Black-Owned Businesses in the Twin Cities
• United Way: Supports 211, a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Asian Economic Development Association: One hundred percent of the donations we receive from GoFundMe will be granted to the businesses with the most need. AEDA will provide additional support to the businesses with technical assistance.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities: Financial donations
• Minneapolis Foundation: Fund for Safe Communities will support efforts to address systemic inequities and translate community anger into actions that repair the city
• Little Earth Residents Association, Inc: Little Earth Food Pantry Fund
• West Broadway Business and Area Coalition: Direct donations to support Northside Minneapolis businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the recent uprising
• Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors Program: Raising money to support local seniors
• The Lake Street Council: Collecting funds to rebuild damaged businesses along Lake Street in Minneapolis
• People & Pets Together: Looking for donations to help south Minneapolis families feed and care for their pets. Pet food or cat litter can be left in the parking lot drop-box behind the People & Pets Together pet food shelf, at 3745 Bloomington Ave. in Minneapolis.
• We Love Midway Fund (Midway Chamber of Commerce): Donations will provide direct support for rebuilding efforts.
• Ujamaa Place: A culturally-centric organization focusing on African American men who are working to overcome multiple barriers to stability assisting them in becoming productive members of society.
• Frogtown & Rondo Community Business Recovery Fund: Helping support damage recovery and of impacted Frogtown and Rondo community-owned businesses. Artists to provide art on boarded up places.
Volunteer, Help Rebuild
Giving back is also about pitching in. Our REALTOR® members generously give their time and talents to help make the community a better place. From rolling up their sleeves to beautify the grounds of CommonBond Communities and Saint Anne’s Senior Housing, to installing a playground at Whittier Park and helping build a transitional home for female veterans, MAR’s members take action for good. Individually, REALTOR® members step up in their own communities and serve as role models for others as exemplified by MAR’s annual Good Neighbor/Heart of the Community awards.
The MN Realtors Rebuilding Community Campaign surpassed our goal, raising over $250,000! The campaign was hosted by the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® Foundation, in partnership with the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation and Minnesota Realtors®. Recognizing the strong tie between healthy businesses and home ownership, all money raised is funding the rebuilding of businesses in the Twin Cities that were damaged or destroyed following the killing of George Floyd.
Funds raised were donated to the following organizations:
• Upper Northside Business Association
• Longfellow Community Council
• Minneapolis Foundation
• Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund
MN Realtors® Rebuilding Community is a multi-association effort to engage in racial diversity, equity and inclusion issues as they pertain to housing. Minneapolis Area REALTORS®, Minnesota Realtors® and the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® are founding partners.
MAR staff and members also held a donation drive in June, following the riots that left neighborhoods with limited access to basic household items. We delivered two SUV’s filled with supplies to the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and Centered on Youth in Minneapolis to distribute to families in need.
See below for additional opportunities to volunteer and help rebuild the impacted communities.
• Model Cities: Provides social and economic prosperity by providing access to opportunities that stabilize and develop families and communities.
• Neighbors Helping Neighbors Saint Paul: Looking for volunteers to help build a community of service in Saint Paul by connecting neighbors who could use a helping hand during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest.
ACLU: The ACLU works in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the Constitution’s promise of liberty for everyone in our country.
NAACP: Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.