Celebrate Our Industry’s Diversity this Black History Month! | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

February is Black History Month! Join us as we honor our trailblazers and leaders, discuss the state of Black homeownership, attend our Black History Month event and much more. Keep reading to learn more!

Look back on our Black History Month event!

On Thursday, February 17, we celebrated black professionals throughout the real estate industry during our Black History Month event. We also honored the first black President of the Illinois REALTORS®, Zeke Morris.

Check out the photos from the event here, and view Zeke’s speech from the event!

Share Our Small Business Grants with Black-Owned Businesses

This year, we will be awarding grants to small business owners who have made a significant, lasting impact within their communities. In honor of Black History Month, we will be awarding Black small business owners with a brick and mortar location impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a $1,000 grant. Please note that real estate brokerage offices are ineligible; however, small and owner-occupied property owners may apply (six units or less). Former grant winners are also ineligible to receive this year’s grant.

Click here to begin the application today or share it with a local business owner! The deadline to apply is Friday, February 11.

Get to Know Our Industry Trailblazers!

These individuals have volunteered their time to our industry and association. Thank you for your dedication!

Meet Our Past Presidents:

THROWBACK: Marion Maner was our first Black Past President. On Friday, August 26, 2016, we dedicated a ceremonial bench in Avalon Park to him. Find out more about the bench, and take the time to visit it this Black History Month!


Meet the Country’s First Black REALTOR®:

After the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Ben Slayton wanted to join the Fernando Valley Board of REALTORS®. A white REALTOR® agreed to sponsor him for a fee of $5,000. Ben got the money from his adoptive parents and joined the association, making him the first Black REALTOR® in the country! Read more about this journey and his newest venture to lend $1 billion to future black homeowners.

Meet Illinois REALTORS® First Black President:

Our Past President Zeke Morris was installed as Illinois REALTORS® 2021-2022 President. “In the coming year, I want us to join together, all 50,000 members, to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for EVERYONE of all income levels, races, and genders,” Zeke said. Find out more about his initiatives for the year here.

And Our Association’s Leadership:

What to Know About the State of Black Homeownership

Learn more about the state of Black homeownership and disparities in homeownership rate compared to other races in National Association of Real Estate Brokers 2021 State of Housing in Black America Report. 

Apply For A Pre-Licensing, Post-Licensing or Higher Education Scholarship

Our Foundation and the Illinois REALTORS® offer a variety of scholarships that are specifically targeted to Black men and women looking to begin or advance their careers, or seeking higher education. Our next scholarship deadline is April 15.

Get to Know Our Industry Partner, Dearborn REALTIST® Board.

The Dearborn REALTIST® Board is the voice for the African American community in real estate and helps the economic development in housing in the African American community. Learn more about them here.