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Statues representing civil rights
Photo: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

MLK Day Speech: NAR Admits Mistakes, Promises for Future

NAR’s president spoke at Martin Luther King’s Washington monument, reconfirming that NAR is committed to combating discrimination throughout real estate.

WASHINGTON – National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Charlie Oppler represented the Realtor association at a wreath-laying ceremony honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.

Held at the MLK monument in Washington, D.C., King’s legacy was on display as attendees reflected on the foundation he set in the fight for racial equality and highlighted the progress the nation has made and must still make.

“Dr. King often spoke of the need to see ourselves not just as members of a neighborhood, but as a brotherhood of man,” Oppler said as part of his remarks. “As a minister, he challenged our country to fulfill its promise to Americans of all colors, and, in the words of Scripture, to ‘let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.’ We remember his words today and every day. But, primarily, Dr. King was a man of action, and he remains an inspiration to us all now more than five decades after his death.”

Oppler acknowledged Realtors’ historic role in furthering residential segregation and opposing the federal Fair Housing Act, but reiterated NAR’s current active, ongoing commitment to securing Dr. King’s dream of diverse, inclusive communities.

“Today, NAR fights to protect and promote the Fair Housing Act,” Oppler continued. “We’re proud that, in 2011, we made the decision to be among the first to contribute to this memorial’s construction. And we’re proud to continue our partnership with the Memorial Foundation, to champion fairness and equality in housing, and to preserve Dr. King’s legacy.

“His dream is the American Dream. That’s a dream we fight for every day. And, as the largest trade association in the world, NAR is committed to using our voice to champion efforts that will combat discrimination throughout real estate.”

NAR’s ongoing efforts include partnering with lawmakers in Washington to secure more equitable public policy and continuing work to implement principles outlined in the association’s Fair Housing ACT plan, which was unveiled in January 2020. NAR is also promoting to Realtors and the general public its implicit bias training video and recently-released interactive fair housing simulation training.

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