On Thursday, the American Mortgage Diversity Council hosted an LGBT roundtable Town Hall in Dallas, Texas. The roundtable is the first of several such events planned across the country during 2018, designed to spur communication between the mortgage industry and the communities they serve. The events will culminate in late 2018 with a report on key findings impacting diversity issues within the mortgage industry.
John Rieger, Executive Director for the American Mortgage Diversity Council, said, “This roundtable Town Hall connects the leaders of the Dallas LGBT community into a collaborative dialogue with the leaders of the mortgage banking and financial services industry to shed light on the challenges facing all facets of their community in an effort to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a top priority.”
Calling diversity and inclusion “core values,” Bank of America released a statement of support saying, “Bank of America is excited to be a part of the LGBT Town Hall and to be able to engage in open dialogue with LGBT community leaders on topics that will help to broaden perspectives, drive positive change and engagement with our employees and clients.” Bank of America said they are looking forward to the LGBT Town Hall providing “the opportunity to foster courageous conversations between LGBT community leaders and leaders of banks and mortgage companies that will support the enhancement and development of strategies, products and services that benefit and support our LGBT customers.”
The Dallas event will connect LGBT community leaders with industry executives, featuring panels and roundtable discussions on topics including:
- Legislation on extending Fair Housing Act protections to LGBT individuals
- Federal programs that encourage LGBT homeownership
- Creating a culture of inclusiveness in the workplace
- Workplace discrimination protections
- Unconscious bias training
Attendees will include a broad spectrum of leaders from both the Dallas LGBT community and the mortgage industry. Confirmed LGBT community leaders will include representatives from the Resource Center of Dallas, AIDS Services of Dallas, Transgender Education Network of Texas, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Hope Charities, Cathedral of Hope Church, Legacy Counseling, Prism Health Services, AIDS Outreach Center, and Outlast Youth.
“So many people and companies overlook the specific needs of the LGBT community and end up with a missed opportunity with potential clients,” said Melissa Grove, Executive Director of Legacy Counseling. “Often the solution is simple: awareness. This event offers a dialogue that will bring about much needed awareness in the banking world.”
Kim Morris, SVP, Tax Operations, Accumatch, said, “Our strength lies in our diversity. Without it, we would be a boring society, all with the same ideas. Buying into diversity and accepting our differences makes us powerful.”
“It is imperative that the full power of the banking industry is both seen as being diverse and supporting the many causes that support the fight of discrimination and stigma that is seen in the LGBT community, which leads to homelessness, issues with addiction, and other social needs,” said Neil Cazares-Thomas, Senior Pastor at Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ. “The more we can do to reduce stigma, the better off our world will be.”
You can find more information about the event, and about the American Mortgage Diversity Council, by clicking here.