05/16/2022 | by

In recent years, REITs and the publicly traded real estate industry have made significant progress in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive sector—but there is still much more to do. That is why the Nareit Foundation launched its Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Giving Campaign.

The campaign raises funds from Nareit members to support organizations, initiatives, and programs that will help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. Grants will support a wide range of opportunities for students, professionals, and businesses, including internships, high school career readiness programs, supplier diversity initiatives, commercial real estate training, and more.

Thomas Bartlett, CEO of American Tower Corporation and Chair of the DDEI CEO Council’s Philanthropy Committee commented, “The DDEI Giving Campaign identifies and funds organizations with a focus on attracting individuals and businesses to the publicly listed REIT industry that creates not just a pipeline but also a long-term partnership for both groups—something that will benefit us all.”

Bartlett is a passionate supporter of the industry working together to achieve large-scale DEI initiatives. American Tower is one of the Lead Founding Donors, along with Prologis, both of which made early and generous contributions. They were instrumental in jumpstarting the campaign, and the Nareit Foundation is grateful to them and our Founding Donors, specifically:

AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc., Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc., Boston Properties, Inc.; Brixmor Property Group Inc.; Camden Property Trust; David E. and Jacqueline S. Simon Charitable Foundation, Digital Realty; DigitalBridge; Duke Realty Corporation; Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.; Equity Residential; Essex Property Trust, Inc.; Federal Realty Investment Trust; First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc.; Healthpeak Properties, Inc.; Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.; Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc.; JBG SMITH; Kimco Realty Corporation; National Storage Affiliates; Park Hotels & Resorts; Public Storage; Realty Income Corporation; Regency Centers Corporation; RLJ Lodging Trust; STORE Capital; VICI Properties, Inc.; Welltower Inc; and Weyerhaeuser.

A Strategic Approach Toward Advancing DEI

As the representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate, Nareit plays a critical role in advancing the industry’s DEI efforts. With the support of REIT CEO and executive committees and councils, Nareit developed a DEI strategic plan that aims to increase the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry’s visibility and appeal to diverse talent and businesses. The plan centers around three pillars: people, partnerships, and philanthropy. The Nareit Foundation’s DDEI Giving Campaign is a critical component of the philanthropy pillar

One of the campaign’s underlying goals is to encourage a collective commitment to advancing DEI within the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry while complementing and compounding the impact of individual companies’ efforts in similar areas.

“An industry-wide challenge demands an industry-wide response,” said Nathaalie Carey, Nareit senior vice president of industry affairs. “By taking a collaborative approach to philanthropy, our industry can achieve large-scale DEI initiatives together and actively play a shared role in advancing DEI and belonging.”

The campaign also is the cornerstone initiative for the Philanthropy Committee, which is part of the DDEI CEO Council. The CEO Council was established in 2020 to address key issues and opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. Comprising more than 30 REIT CEOs from all sectors of the industry, the Council helped Nareit develop its DEI strategic plan and guides activities under each of the organizing pillars.

Broadening the Mission

The DDEI Giving Campaign represents a significant expansion of the Nareit Foundation’s mission, which has supported educational and charitable initiatives for the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry for nearly two decades. The broader mission will now be overseen by an expanded board for the Nareit Foundation.

Nareit Members’ Generosity Is Critical to Advancing DEI Together

As part of the campaign’s launch, Nareit has debuted a new DDEI Giving Campaign webpage that offers:

  • An overview of the campaign
  • How Nareit members may donate
  • The latest list of donors

Additional DEI Resources

If you would like to learn more about Nareit’s DEI strategic plan or the Nareit Foundation, visit the following online resources:

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