Hello Kentucky REALTOR® FAMILY.
I greet you as family, friend, and as President of Kentucky REALTORS®. These are the most difficult of times, and this is a difficult letter to write.
We have witnessed with our own eyes a black man (any man) dying from asphyxiation at the hands of those chosen to protect and serve. His name is George Floyd. Here in our Commonwealth, we are outraged at hearing of a young black woman named Breonna Taylor, a first responder, shot in her home by a police officer’s gunfire. These are outrageous acts. They occurred while we are in the midst of a pandemic. People are already stressed and emotions are running over the top. This combined with mistrust and anger is the perfect formula for devastation.
What we have seen across our state and nation are peaceful protests against racial injustice. In other cases, we saw riots that hurt people and destroyed property. Unfortunately, this is history repeating itself based on injustice, police brutality, and unresolved racial issues. To not speak out on these issues could simply mean we are complicit.
As champions of fair housing and inclusion, both the National Association of REALTORS® and Kentucky REALTORS® recognize and accept our responsibility to support policies that address racial injustice. We have reached out to National Association of Real Estate Brokers to join affiliated groups in conversations affecting the real estate business.
I recently announced a KYR Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. This group will make recommendations, suggest policy changes, and devise strategies to help build a more inclusive organization. KYR will then be a resource to encourage and help local associations in developing their own Diversity Committees. KYR has already scheduled an interactive Cultural and Diversity session as we move into our Strategic Planning.
The Presidential Advisory Group, after in-depth discussion, has planned “A Conversation on Race” for our entire membership. This Virtual Town Hall will take place on Thursday, June 4th at 2:00 pm ET. The panel will include REALTORS®, Brokers, and Cultural Experts.
We are Champions for Home Ownership and we believe in the Protection of Private Property Rights. Kentucky REALTORS® NEVER condones violence of any kind against anyone or their property. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As REALTOR® leaders we must be the calming voice in the midst of this storm (both physically and on social media). I welcome and invite the thoughts, comments, and suggestions of you, our members, as we work together for positive change. Our job is to respect our differences and “Lift as we climb.“ Yes, our families, communities, and each other. Why?
Because That’s who We R!
Lester T. Sanders, KYR President