PRESIDENT'S CORNER: We Are the World
Dorothy Botsoe | January 2017
“There comes a time when you heed a certain call,
When the World must come together as one.”
Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie
Greetings and Happy New Year to all!!!
As our nation prepares to embrace change in the White House, none of us as Realtors are exempt from the role we will play in trying to make our world a better place. Not an easy task. Many of us who have been working in the real-estate business for the past 20 years or more have seen how division and the lack of inclusion and diversity has hurt so many of our communities. What does it really mean to develop a diverse housing market? What does it mean to embrace inclusion? What will our real-estate world look like in the next 10 to 15 years if we have not figured out how to “come together?”—We are the World.
Whether it is our country’s leadership, or our Association’s leadership, change represents opportunity. Change can create a new optimism, a clean slate, and a fresh start.
Our Association begins 2017 different, better, stronger than we were in 2016 with the addition of our Manhattan Chapter. We are constantly changing, evolving and adding new members each month, expanding the breadth of our geographic footprint.
The Realtor community is absolutely diverse. We are made up of the same characteristics that demand that we conduct ourselves with respect for our own and our client’s ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, education and religious diversity. The Realtor community is a great place to see true diversity and inclusion in operation. When we look around we should be able to say we have passed the test of working as one voice to help improve relationships that help lead people through the doorways of homeownership, regardless of their race, ethnicity or financial power. We are the World.
We have helped to create an environment of involvement, respect and connection—and an environment of “inclusion” where the richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are harnessed to create a strong positive business value—a community of trust. We are a powerful group of people and we affect the lives of people every day. We are in the business of helping make a piece of the American Dream come true for so many. We are the World.
When we look around we should be able to appreciate and respect each other. Diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion means being asked to dance.
As Realtors we must continue to embrace and prioritize diversity and inclusion so that our organization is poised to achieve better business results by engaging people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives through participatory decision-making, and valuing our differences—because—We are the World.
2017 is here. Diversity and inclusion are here. In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
This year, one of my goals is to move our Association from diversity to inclusion. I hope to foster an environment of involvement, respect and connection—where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives of our members are harnessed to create business value.
We should all be open-minded and willing to listen to a variety of ideas. We should participate in fruitful discussions that will help our organization achieve its many goals.
I would like to be able to enhance our communication with our members, our non-member peers and the general public to ensure that all are aware of how much our HGAR does for its Realtor community and how our active participation in advocacy positively impacts the public. We will continue our grassroots push to make sure homeownership is available for all and we will continue to actively participate in promoting legislation that fosters homeownership.
It is my distinct pleasure to serve HGAR as its 2017 President. I am excited and humbled to be in this position of leadership and service to our Realtor community. Looking forward to an exciting 2017!!!