A Sierra Vista real estate broker is helping lead the charge of changing the corporate environment of real estate giant Keller Williams Realty International as it relates to diversity and racial issues.
Boston took part earlier this week in a regional taskforce meeting during which she encouraged company leaders to embrace “the uncomfortable conversations which must continue to take place because in the absence of them, ignorance prevails.”
Among the taskforce’s efforts are strategic plans to create opportunities for more African Americans to be placed in leadership and mentoring positions, Boston said. “We are also engaging in workshops on racism and implicit bias training, as well as industry issues such as redlining. We also need to address how racism has historically played a part -and still does- in our industry.”
Boston noted her involvement with the taskforce was prompted by what she describes as a “heartfelt letter” sent to all company associates by Keller, who has challenged taskforce ambassadors to help eliminate racial disparity within the company, as well as in the real estate industry and the communities where KWRI associates live and work.
“I’m proud of the company we’ve built together, but I know in my heart that we can do more,” Keller wrote in the letter. “I believe we can also set an example within the industry by committing more of ourselves to a better, and equitable future.”
Keller noted the genesis for the corporate commitment came about from national attention to the “tremendous pain” and civil unrest following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor…“and too many more.” He also acknowledged that racism has long had a role in the real estate industry.
“The truth is that racial injustice and inequality persists. And, in order to help change that, it’s critical to not only say something about it, but do something about it,” Keller said. “We can all do something. Reach out to your local real estate board and make sure that racial equality is reflected in their positions. Ask if they support initiatives and measures crucial to racial and social justice. Then, get involved in those you believe in.”
It is a message Boston welcomes, and one she is glad to say has already had an impactful effect at KWRI.
“We have modified our cultural principles to include Equity: Opportunities for All,” Boston said. “Since June, the number of African Americans in leadership positions throughout the company has increased by 50 percent.”