ST. LOUIS – Last September, Katie Berry, then president of St. Louis Realtors, delivered a powerful apology during an event detailing St. Louis’ history of residential racial segregation. The group’s apology came with a course of action.
The Reimagining St. Louis plan includes 22 different initiatives the association says it’s using to educate, promote, and support African Americans and other minorities interested in all aspects of the real estate industry.
A year after the Reimagining St. Louis announcement, one real estate agency is doing its part to shine a light on local housing inequity.
“I’m so proud of RedKey Realty Leaders. Jill Butler’s an amazing leader, and she’s really worked to make diversity, equity and inclusion a priority within the company,” Nate Johnson, a broker associated with RedKey Realty.
On Thursday, Nov. 2, RedKey is hosting a special event at the Hi-Pointe Theatre with the hope of educating attendees on the critical importance of addressing housing development issues, both locally and nationally.
The event will start with a screening of the film “The Banker.” It tells the story of the first African American bankers in the United States, who fought racial discrimination in housing and lending practices.
“It’s just a little bit of information in an entertaining way that can really help people understand some of the challenges that have created where we’re at today,” Johnson said.
Following the film, St. Louisan Vivian Gibson, author of “The Last Children of Mill Creek,” will deliver a presentation detailing how her childhood neighborhood was dismantled in the 1950s as an act of urban renewal.
“She’s going to share her perspective with us after the screening on how that occurred and some highlights from her book. It’ll be a great event overall,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes revisiting this history and recalling racism’s role in housing is an important part of eliminating it in the future.
“Yes, the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968; that didn’t end racism. And there is so much that is still happening today that is creating inequitable communities,” he said. “We have to work together to create a higher level of awareness in our communities, so we can make changes that are necessary to create a future we can all be proud of.”