In the wake of the racial unrest that continues to hold back our great country, our communities, and yes, even our industry, over the last several weeks, I have met with our African American clients, colleagues, and several associates. I mostly listened, and in the end, asked them how I can help?
I have and always will believe Black Lives Matter. I also believe we all have the power to do something. We all have special gifts or abilities that can be harnessed to make a difference. Will one simple act stop racism? Unfortunately, not. However, if we all use our God-given talents, we can change the lives of those who have been historically held back in achieving their own dreams, their own potential.
One high-impact idea shared by most of those I spoke with was to suggest everyone hire an intern or recruit directly from a historical Black college or university. Talent is everywhere, you just need to look.
I have asked our team to work with me in creating a new Massimo Mentors program, designed specifically for minorities, to assist with their entrance and subsequent career evolution within the commercial real estate industry.
While I hope everyone stands against racism and discrimination, I challenge each one of us to act. The word “stand” after all suggests being stationary. How about you? What can you do? How can you leverage your talents to continue the current tide of change? I am not suggesting you alone can change the world, but at the very least, together, we can improve our commercial real estate industry.
Rod Santomassimo, CCIM, is the founder and president of the Massimo Group, LLC, New York, N.Y.