Celebration of Black History Month at HGAR
Real Estate In-Depth | March 21, 2023
WHITE PLAINS—Black History Week was unofficially started in 1915, 50 years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, to research and promote the achievement of Black Americans and other people of African descent. Fast forward to 1926, the second week of February – which coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass – the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History launched national Negro History Week.
The month of February has been deemed Black History month since 1970 when Black educators and Black United Students of Kent State University proposed it. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976 calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
The Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Network, in collaboration with Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, celebrated by highlighting the journey and accomplishments of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers at an event held at the HGAR offices in White Plains on Feb. 21.
Cheryl Williams, First Vice President of the Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Network, and Vice Chair of Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee served as the Mistress of Ceremony. She provided a thorough overview of the journey of this illustrious group, and emphasized the importance of their existence to, not only Black Real Estate professionals but to all real estate professionals.
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB) was founded in Tampa, FL, in 1947 as an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy organization for African American real estate professionals, consumers, and communities in America. The purpose of NAREB is to enhance the economic improvement of its members, the community at large, and the minority community which it serves. To unite those engaged in the recognized branches of the real estate industry including brokerage, management, mortgage financing, appraising, land development, home building, and allied fields for the purpose of exerting influence on real estate interests Although composed principally of African Americans, the REALTIST organization embraces all qualified real estate practitioners who are committed to achieving our vision, which is “Democracy in Housing.”
Theresa M. Smith, the President of the Bronx Realtist Professionals, Inc. spoke of her experience in NAREB for the last 10 years. A seasoned professional, she has been the Founding President of three local NAREB chapters. Her goal is to put The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB) and the Bronx Realtist Professionals, Inc. on the map with members from the Bronx and surrounding areas.
Other speakers were Marianne Lepore, the 2023 President of Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Local Westchester; Teresa Belmore, Creator and chair of Women in Commercial Real Estate; Dorothy Botsoe, Principal Broker of Dorothy Jensen Realty and Weichert, Realtor Signature Properties; Anthony Ruperto, Chair of Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; Tony D’Anzica, 2023 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and Rey Hollingsworth Falu, Treasurer Bronx Chapter, NAREB and HGAR DEI Steering Committee.