My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12
This is the second time this year that my usually upbeat and lighthearted letter is taking a more serious approach. In light of current events, I think that it is important to have a serious conversation about what is happening and The Urban Dog Group’s position both professionally and personally.
According to the Realtor Code of Ethics, “REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
The Urban Dog Group’s mission has always been one of love and caring for the underdogs. While this is usually a more literal application of the term since we help rescue animals (dogs, cats, and all animals), it is not the only one. Our hearts go out to all those in need and we help people whenever we can through charitable giving with local and national organizations and occasionally, directly to individuals and families in this community. I would like to think that most people are good-hearted and care for humanity regardless of color, creed, or any of the differences that make us all unique individuals.
There are those who do not care for mankind equally, whether because of taught belief’s, fear or ignorance, they have brought racial injustice to the forefront of America once again. We at The Urban Dog Group find this behavior incomprehensible, but we want to help be a part of the solution; to be the change we want to see in this country. It starts with each of us looking inward and how we can do and be better in our treatment of others.
“It is not enough to be quietly non-racist; NOW is the time to be vocally anti-racist. - Angela Davis
Here are some ways we are looking at ourselves in making real change in our country:
Admit that the problem is one that affects us all, not just people of color.
Listen, listen, and listen more. Even when we think we understand, we are not there yet. I can’t imagine being afraid to take my dog for a walk in my own neighborhood during the daytime. I can’t imagine being questioned on why I am entering an apartment complex where I have lived for 15 years because I’m a different color. We need to listen to the reality that we don’t know.
Stand up to and call out friends, family, and colleagues when they say something racist. It’s not funny. It causes more harm than you realize.
Support minority businesses.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have to start now. I am encouraged by the solidarity that is being shown all across our country in response to the murder of George Floyd from all ethnicities. There is hope. We are American’s. Freedom is not free and often painful like it is now, but we are the most resilient people in the entire world. Better times are to come. We never, ever give up wanting a better life for all.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” - Nelson Mandela
From everyone at The Urban Dog Real Estate Group, stay kind, stay safe, and stay healthy.
Your Pet-Friendly Realtor
Christine Elias, GRI, ABR, SRS, MRP, ESA
Coldwell Banker of Winter Park