The Runstad Advisory Board has developed several committees focused on supporting the Runstad Department of Real Estate’s students, faculty and programs. One of these committees, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is dedicated to helping create a future where equity is embraced so that the real estate industry and built environment reflect the rich diversity of people in the community.
This past academic year, the department and board members participated in some great events to help push the goal of moving the industry toward inclusion and equity. In February 2023, the Runstad Department of Real Estate and Foster School of Business held their annual symposium, “Hacking Inequity in Access to Real Estate Capital: Best Practices and New Options”. This year the event was also co-sponsored by Urban@UW and Urban Land Institute. After the keynote’s address, attendees heard from two panels: one focused on the experiences of developers seeking capital, and the other on the experiences and advice of capital providers. This year’s symposium was a follow up to the panel discussion on EDI in real estate capital investments that was held at the Autumn 2021 Runstad Advisory Board Meeting.
Board member Brian Surratt, was a leading force in the Housing Equity Accelerator program (HEA) this past year. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (“LISC”) partnered with Amazon to increase the supply of affordable housing and support the growth of emerging developers of color in Puget Sound. This work can help build capacity to create more affordable units and forge opportunities to generate equity and inter-generational wealth. Many Runstad Advisory board members and Master of Science in Real Estate alumni volunteered their time and service. Jaebadiah Gardner (a fellow of the program), Peter Orser, Andrew Hunt, McKenzie Darr and Kristin Ryan served as Business Advisors, program advisors and expert panelists. Diane Sugimura served as program facilitator for the year long program with 13 graduates.
Lastly, we want to thank George Northcroft for working with ULI to shape the February event, “10 Principles for Embedding Racial Equity in Real Estate Development,” and sharing the opportunity for our students to attend. ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative published “10 Principles…” as a guide for developers, investors, and other practitioners in making racial equity an important part of their real estate practice. Taidgh H. McClory, one of the contributors to the report, presented the 10 principles, following George’s impassioned history of racial issues in the real estate industry. George also moderated a “fireside chat” with Taidgh and Jaebadiah, before attendees broke into small groups to discuss the principles and their commitments to initiate change in their work.
We are thankful and excited about the work that was accomplished this year by the EDI Committee, and sincerely thank the committee for their service. We look forward to more progress happening in the years to come.