As an organization that prides itself on progressive values, we feel it is necessary to address the subject of systemic racism and racial injustice head on.
Blue Panda has always been about something bigger than real estate. Our work is the result of a desire to build human connection and real relationships – between agents, clients, and the local communities we serve.
There is undoubtedly room for growth in the real estate industry. In light of the current situation of social unrest, we’ll be using our platform to engage in productive discussion about race discrimination by highlighting stories from our friends and colleagues. We want to use this opportunity to better educate ourselves and our followers, because transformation begins, first and foremost, with education.
Below is a list of initiatives we’re implementing in an effort to help build a better future.
Listening to Community Leaders
Over the years, we’ve built an office culture that is rooted in values of inclusivity and collaboration. During the next few weeks, we’ll be inviting leaders from the community to educate our team on explicit and implicit biases that continue to shape professional experiences of black Canadians – both inside the real estate industry and beyond. It is no longer enough to read about injustice behind a computer screen. We’ll using our office as a hub to inspire discussion and lift up voices that need to be heard.
Understanding Systemic Injustice
It is important to move beyond the limited critical framework that traditional “sensitivity training” offers. One of our priorities is to ensure that our friends and followers clearly understanding the concept of system injustice and institutional racism. A common belief in our society is that where overt bigotry ends, racism no longer exist. This is not simply incorrect – it also diminishes the everyday lived experiences of people of colour and obstructs the historical legacies of racism that have shaped social, cultural, and political inequities in the here and now. We’re also committed to an intersectional approach, highlighting the ways in which sexuality, gender expression, and class, overlap with race to create different experiences and obstacles all worthy of consideration.
Becoming Industry Leaders
Understanding the nuances of what allyship means is central to all forms of anti-racist work. It is not enough to simply be seen as supportive. We’ll be working to determine how we can become stronger “non-optical allies” – that, is allies who contribute to positive social change as opposed to passive digital performances of solidarity. Specifically, we’ll be exploring different ways in which we can contribute to positive social change in our industry. In today’s real estate landscape, this means developing practical agent and client diversity procedures, creating stronger neighbourhood alliances, and addressing the barriers to home ownership that many continue to face.
Developing Long-Term Strategies
We face a complicated issue that offers no easy formula or short solutions. We’ll be asking ourselves: How do we keep vigilant after the current wave of protests subsides? On the one hand, this means ensuring no one in our organization turns a blind eye to injustice. On the other, it means continually revisiting and updating antiracist initiatives to meet new benchmarks. At Blue Panda, we want to become active participants in the local community over a long-term period. Change is not created overnight.
Organizations you can support today:
The Bail Project
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Justice for Tony McDade