A photo of a wreath that was laid at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in honor of the civil rights leader in January 2021

Gediyon Kifle

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, the late civil rights leader was honored in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. NAR President Charlie Oppler participated in the ceremony virtually.

NAR Helps Mark Annual MLK Day

January 19, 2021

National Association of REALTORS® President Charlie Oppler on Monday joined business and community leaders, members of Congress, and Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., at a virtual wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Five decades after his death, he remains an inspiration to us all,” Oppler, CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in New Jersey, said of the civil rights icon. “Those who stood with Dr. King are forever on the right side of history.”

Oppler praised NAR members’ commitment to promoting King’s dream of diverse, inclusive communities at the ceremony, which also marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the memorial. NAR, he noted, was among the first organizations in 2011 to support the construction of the memorial, donating $1 million to the project.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with the Memorial Foundation, to champion fairness and equality in housing, and to preserve King’s legacy,” he added.

Oppler also acknowledged NAR’s historic role in residential segregation and opposition to the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which King had championed. But “today,” he said, “NAR fights to protect and promote the Fair Housing Act."

NAR’s ongoing efforts include partnering with lawmakers in Washington to secure more equitable public policy and continuing work to implement the principles outlined in the association’s Fair Housing ACT plan, which was unveiled in January 2020. NAR has also rolled out to members its implicit bias training video and a recently released interactive fair housing simulation training, Fairhaven.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Oppler reflected on what King means to the nation and to REALTORS®. “His dream is the American dream,” he said, “and that’s a dream we fight for every day.”

"Our Historic Gift" - REALTOR® Magazine (April 1, 2007) The Memorial Foundation "NAR's Fair Housing Action Plan (ACT Initiative)" - National Association of REALTORS® (Jan. 8, 2020) "Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing" - National Association of REALTORS® (June 5, 2020) "Fairhaven: A Fair Housing Simulation" - National Association of REALTORS® (Nov. 2020