NAR, Businesses Team Up to Address Economic Inequality

June 18, 2020

The National Association of REALTORS® is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality Opportunity Initiative to be part of a national effort to examine economic inequality in the U.S. So far, more than 400 organizations have signed on to the initiative.

As part of this effort, business and policy leaders are seeking to advance economic inclusion by highlighting potential data-driven solutions that will address inequality nationwide.

“NAR has spent recent years reexamining how our 1.4 million members can best lead the fight against discrimination, bigotry, and injustice,” says NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “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 to Fair Housing has only strengthened in response to recent tragedies in America.”

The initiative brings together businesses, associations, and state and local chambers to help address the challenges facing specific communities and address potential solutions, says Suzanne P. Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “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,” Clark says. “And we commit to ensuring that the impact of our work reaches more people.”

Last week, NAR started to promote a new 50-minute implicit bias training online video to its members and association staff. The video highlights research that illustrates how the brain’s automatic association with stereotypes can lead to certain groups being treated differently. Research shows that these biases can persist despite even people’s best intentions—and often without awareness.

NAR also has urged state and local REALTOR® associations to revise their new-member orientations and mandatory education courses to focus on the importance of delivering equal services to all. In January, NAR unveiled a new Fair Housing Accountability, Culture Change, and Training (ACT) Plan, which emphasizes the protection of housing rights to all classes and groups.