01/26/2024 | by
Nareit Foundation Presents Check
(L-R) Chip Rogers, president and CEO, AHLA; Ayris T. Scales, senior vice president, social responsibility and global initiatives, Nareit; Julienne Smith, board chair, AHLA Foundation; and Anna Blue, president, AHLA Foundation

On Jan. 21, Nareit’s Ayris T. Scales joined a Nareit DDEI grantee, the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation (AHLAF), during its 6th Annual Gala, Night of a Thousand Stars. Scales presented AHLAF with an $85,000 check on behalf of the Nareit Foundation’s Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion grant program, an industry-wide initiative that was funded by 41 REIT and CRE donors.

The grant program has awarded nearly $1 million to nine nonprofit organizations that are attracting, developing, and connecting diverse talent and businesses to the commercial real estate industry. The inaugural round of funding received almost 100 applications, of which nine organizations were selected. 

The Night of a Thousand Stars gala was attended by more than 500 AHLA and AHLAF board members, industry executives, brand representatives and owners to celebrate the hotel industry’s most important VIPs: the property-level talent that make the industry so unique.

AHLAF will use the funding to support intentional partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to address a range of workforce representation gaps and to increase REIT/CRE career exposure to a broader range of emerging professionals. Specifically, AHLAF will put the funding toward providing 20 students with mentorship, career exposure, scholarships, and training around careers in hospitality and within the REIT industry.

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