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Asian Real Estate Association of America host first Diversity Fair Housing Summit April 28-29th

By Press Release | April 22, 2021

The Asian Real Estate Association of America, a national nonprofit trade organization focused on improving the homeownership rates of the AAPI community, announces its upcoming Diversity and Fair Housing Summit. The virtual event will take place April 28-29 and is tailored for those working in housing related fields.

Event co-chairs Fred Underwood, recently retired from his role as NAR’s Director of Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, and Lisa Nguyen, a member of AREAA’s national policy board and former president of the AREAA Greater Denver Chapter, have assembled an impressive slate of speakers to advance participants’ understanding and awareness of a host of diversity and fair housing issues.

“As NAR’s liaison with AREAA for over a decade, I have a unique perspective, having grown up in South Korea,” said Underwood. “From both a personal and professional viewpoint, I understand the critical importance of inclusivity – which is many times not the default – in building strong communities. As we join together for AREAA’s inaugural Diversity and Fair Housing Summit, we are not only fortifying our industry, but acquiring tools we can bring back to the places we live to promote inclusiveness.”

“Embrace of diversity starts with empathy,” explained Nguyen. “And empathy comes from understanding, which is why there is a strong educational component to the summit. But having information is only the first step. Being able to act on it creates the necessary change that is needed in our country today, and we will provide participants with a number of ways they can create pull through from this event.”

Highlights from the agenda include: 

Richard Lui, MSNBC/NBC award-winning anchor and journalist, will keynote the opening general session titled “Empathy Elevates Us All.” 

The breakout sessions that follow the opening general session are devoted to understanding the many different areas in which people can be biased – in the Asian American community and beyond, making this event relevant for anyone working in real estate.

  • A session on light privilege will explore the privileges that exist for light-skinned people in Asia, Africa and South America. 
  • Religion is another area that will be explored as it relates to bias in America.
  • Understanding people’s pronouns is becoming more common and a session called “They/Them/Theirs” will explore implications of pronoun use, not just in working with clients, but also in broader social interactions.
  • The intersections between racism and misogyny – particularly top of mind for Asian women in light of the Atlanta spa shootings – will be discussed in “Fetishizing Race.”
  • “People first language” is an important component when working with people who have disabilities. Learning how important words are is critical to unbiased communication.

The second day of the summit draws on material from the first day as attendees have the opportunity to take a training course on implicit bias, learning valuable tools for self-examination and achieving a better understanding of bias blind spots. Implicit bias relates to unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that arise from our brain’s tendency to rely on patterns to create shortcuts to thinking. According to Rudhir Kristel, founder of Kristel Coaching, who will deliver the training, uncovering these biases is the first step in removing them, which makes this training particularly powerful in making a lasting difference.

The closing general session will deliver avenues for taking action, from education, to reporting, to legislation. Minjae Ormes, CMO of Visible, the first all-digital wireless carrier in the U.S., and Eric Toda, Global Head of Marketing for Facebook, and Dave Uejio, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will share how they are leveraging their platforms to effect change. 

“AREAA’s Diversity and Fair Housing Summit is an opportunity for anyone working in the field to expand their knowledge and make a crucial difference in our society. And you don’t need to be a member of AREAA to attend,” said Hope Atuel, AREAA Executive Director. 

To register for AREAA’s Diversity and Fair Housing Summit, visit

Industry partners participating on the summit’s many panels hail from the federal government, real estate, banking and diversity. They include:

  • Freddie Mac
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • Realogy
  • RE/MAX
  • Home Services of America and HSF Affiliates
  • LGBTQ+ Alliance
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • Bank of America
  • CITI
  • Quicken Loans
  • SunTrust
  • Wells Fargo


Founded in 2003, the Asian American Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) is a national nonprofit trade organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community through homeownership. Visit for more information. 

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