A new kind of ministry: Why I work with, and refer to, Keller Williams agents.
I never thought I would be a REALTOR, and I'll be honest, coming into this work a few years ago, after more than two decades in parish ministry, felt a bit deflating. However I love houses, enjoy working with people toward their goals; and most of all, appreciate being an independent contractor at this point in my life. So I did it. And it's been good. Still, something of meaning was missing.
I was raised to believe the meaning of life was to make the world a better place for all, not just those with the money to buy a nice house. And I knew darn well too many people do not have the means to buy any kind of house. After a bit of time I founded A Light in the Window, which at least has allowed me to connect with my former ministerial colleagues, and help them get to where they were going, so they could make the world a better place.
In the world of real estate, back when racist practices were more overt (think red-lining, block-busting), there was a term called "the tipping point." It was thought, maybe proven, that white people moved out of a neighborhood when black home ownership reached a certain percentage. I want to say 20%. I think, at least for some Americans, we've reached a different kind of tipping point, resulting in a wholly different sort of movement, outward. The exploitation and murders of black men, and women, reached a tipping point when George Floyd was killed on camera. And doors opened, and our eyes were opened.
I am very happy to say that Keller Williams walked through the door. Successful businesses (and congregations) tend to have effective systems. But systems, as we know, can systemically, and systematically, oppress. Lately there's been a fair amount written on the subject of "wealth building" and all of the historic, and current, obstacles to achieving that, in the black community. KW Realty International is waking up to the role real estate has played in that story. In response, they are leveraging the systems they've built over decades to disrupt systemic racism in real estate.
Below I have pasted a copy of the first Priority, among five, toward achieving a new vision which will change the landscape we work and live in, and open the field up to massive change by growing a richer, more diverse workforce. It's a long road ahead, but I am grateful to be on it, as a member of the Social Equity Taskforce, in a company that is using its power, privilege, and accumulated wealth, to make the world a better place.