As a longtime champion of fair housing and the American Dream of homeownership, The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) is proud of its involvement in the creation of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, which honors the civil rights leader’s work in promoting equality for all. The long-awaited memorial will be dedicated on August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. The memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.
NAR’s early support for the Memorial, dating back to 2007, stems from the organization’s ongoing commitment to equal opportunity for all in housing and homeownership. In announcing NAR’s financial contribution to the memorial’s development, 2007 NAR president Pat Vredevoogd Combs said, “NAR is an outspoken advocate for fair housing, an ally in the fight against predatory lending practices, and an organization that prides itself on building communities. We are proud to be a part of the effort to build a permanent home to honor Dr. King on our National Mall.”
For decades, NAR has worked to increase awareness of the importance of open and free housing across the nation, partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and countless local and state fair-housing and community organizations. NAR led industry efforts in 1988 to strengthen the Fair Housing Act and over the years has:
• Expanded and implemented fair-housing education requirements for members
• Continued to educate REALTORS® on the importance of inclusive housing practices through the At Home With Diversity training program
• Established the HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) in 2001 to recognize outstanding projects and programs that increase minority homeownership and revitalize communities
• Partnered with state associations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and countless local organizations to expand affordable housing opportunities
• Organized and leads a coalition of civil rights, housing and community organizations to protect sensible access to homeownership
By expanding marketing efforts to reach all populations, valuing diversity, becoming experts on housing programs, and being active in our communities, REALTORS® are on the front lines in making the promise of the Fair Housing Act a reality.
“NAR is committed to increasing awareness about fair housing laws and promoting inclusion and diversity in our nation’s communities,” says 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps. “For REALTORS®, every month is fair housing month. With every transaction REALTORS® strive to promote inclusion, diversity and fairness in the housing industry. It’s an honor for every member of NAR to be associated with the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the principles Dr. King stood for: Democracy, Justice, Hope and love.”