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Home » Press Release » U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Angie Craig to keynote LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Housing Symposium

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Angie Craig to keynote LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Housing Symposium

By Press Release | April 20, 2021

The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance will hold its first LGBTQ+ Housing Symposium on April 28 and 29. The virtual event will feature U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and U.S. Representative Angie Craig (Minn.) as two of nearly 40 speakers who will tackle critical LBGTQ+ and real estate industry topics such as Fair Housing, the Equality Act, LGBTQ+ homeownership rates, the housing needs of the aging LBGTQ+ community and the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) movement.

“Our policy symposium comes at a unique time in our nation’s history,” said Ryan Weyandt, CEO of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. “There is animosity against diverse groups from those who are trying to maintain their perceived standing. At the same time, most of our society is working to evolve and welcome all individuals, no matter the color of their skin, ethnic background, gender identity or sexual orientation. Too often, these individuals have to hope they can be treated with the respect every human being deserves. It’s definitely not guaranteed. Change is happening because of discussions like those that will be happening at our Housing Policy Symposium and the support of our partners, which include some of the leading corporations in the nation.”

Senator Brown, who is the Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has been an ally of the LGBTQ+ community throughout his career. Representative Craig is a Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the first lesbian mother elected to the U.S. Congress. Attendees will also learn more about President Biden’s LGBTQ+ policy from White House Senior Adviser on LGBTQ+ Issues Reginald Greer.

Georgia State Senator Kim Jackson and Missouri State Senator Greg Razer, part of a 2020 “Rainbow Wave” of newly elected LGBTQ+ political leaders, are also slated to speak at the symposium.

The Equality Act, a landmark bill that would make it a federal crime to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community in such critical areas as housing and credit, will be a major topic of interest. Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy will provide a look at where the Equality Act stands today and what the public can do to lend support. 

Discrimination against the transgender community is another major issue. Three trans professionals – Billie Simmons, co-founder of Daylight, the only digital banking platform designed for and by the LGBTQ+ community, Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, Realtors agent Kasandra Alicea and HomeVantage Mortgage Branch Manager James Monastero – will discuss their activist work.

LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance President John Thorpe will lead a discussion about how DEI efforts can have a positive impact. He will be joined by Noerena Limon, Tim Hur and Son Nguyen, leaders of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Asian Real Estate Association of America and Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, respectively.

The real estate industry will be represented from the highest levels with the participation of Leslie Rouda Smith, 2021 President-Elect of the National Association of Realtors, and Michael Bourque, CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Other industry leaders include:

  • Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty
  • Sherry Chris, President and CEO, Realogy Expansion Brands
  • Anthony Hitt, CEO, Engel and Vӧlkers Americas
  • Stephanie Rall, VP,
  • Lisa Rice, CEO National Fair Housing Alliance
  • Sasha Samberg-Champion, Deputy General Counsel, HUD
  • Chris Stuart, CEO, HSF Affiliates
  • Jason Abrams, Head of Industry, Keller Williams

Kimber White, President, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, will be joined by speakers from the lending sector including:

  • Maxwell Koziol, Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase
  • Kathy Cummings, SVP, Bank of America
  • Kay Marshall, SVP, Trust
  • Sodi Nichols, VP, U.S. Bank

SAGE CEO Michael Adams and Peter Kaldes, CEO of the American Society of Aging will address the challenges LBGTQ+ seniors face, while William Placek, North Atlantic Regional Director of PFLAG, provides a look at how the pandemic and discrimination are impacting LBGTQ+ people around the nation.

The LGBTQ+ Housing Policy Symposium agenda was crafted by Alliance members Tim Garvey and Chris Surrana.

Click here to RSVP to the event.


The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is a 501(c)6 nonprofit dedicated to empowering the LGBTQ+ community on the path to homeownership as we also advocate on behalf of the community on housing issues. The Alliance, founded in June 2020, is an all-inclusive organization that works to improve the professional lives of its members through a public-facing Alliance Referral Community. The Alliance began accepting members in October 2020 and has more than 50 chapters in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information visit   

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