Our Commitment to Change
June 5, 2020
Posted by: REALPAC
It’s hard to think that anything could have bumped COVID-19 out of the headlines this past week, but the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (February 23rd), Breonna Taylor (March 13th), and now George Floyd (May 25th) in the US have done just that, touching off mass protests not only in the US, but also in Canadian cities and around the world.
Sadly, these are just the most recent injustices to evoke anger and outrage not just within the black community, but amongst anyone with a conscience, and amongst anyone who believes in fairness, justice and equity. And while it may be easy to dismiss this problem of systemic discrimination as unique to the United States, it really isn't so, as racial injustices also appear in Canada within many marginalized communities, including our own indigenous people. We cannot afford to take a “holier than thou” attitude towards what we see south of the border.
We started our efforts within REALPAC to move the diversity and inclusion needle in late 2017. Many of our counterpart associations around the world focus on gender. We decided to amplify the efforts and focus on all marginalized communities in our strategy: within REALPAC itself, within our Board, within all of the associations we collaborate with in our real estate industry, and within our industry as a whole. Our diversity and inclusion event in June 2019 was a milestone for our industry, with a gender panel, a visible minority panel, and an LGBTQ panel. But there is clearly more work to do.
It is a time for introspection, and for all of us to redouble our efforts to better understand the narrative of Black Lives Matter, provide more opportunities for underrepresented groups, support Canadians from marginalized communities, and continue our collective work as an industry to make Canada the most inclusive society in the world. I strongly believe that this journey will also make us the strongest society in the world.