By: Tom Salomone, 2016 President
Monday, Jan 18th 2016, marks MLK Day, honoring the memory of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In thinking about Dr. King’s many, many heroic contributions, I am reminded of the tremendous impact he had on our industry, including our Association.
In the summer of 1966, Dr. King moved to Chicago and engaged in a series of marches, appealing to the city’s real estate practitioners to end discriminatory housing practices. King’s demand for open housing led to the 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act. The Act declared a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Demonstrating the National Association of REALTORS® commitment to civil rights and making property ownership viable for all Americans, King’s call for fair housing was incorporated into the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Article 10 states,
“REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Let Dr. King’s legacy be an inspiration to us all- to work even harder – both in our businesses and in our communities.
In the words of Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
If you are looking for ways to get more involved and make a difference within your community, I encourage you to check out the incredible work REALTORS®, from across the country, are doing in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of America!
NAR provides members with access to a variety of resources focused on Fair Housing. Click here for more info.