02/29/2024 | by
Black History Month

Each year, Black History Month (BHM) serves as a reminder to celebrate diversity, promote equality, and continue the ongoing journey toward a more inclusive and equitable future. Nareit continues to share some of the meaningful activities that REITs are engaged in this month to recognize BHM within their own organizations.

Nareit members are invited to share their BHM stories, photos, social posts, and videos with communications@nareit.com. This story will be updated throughout February.

AMH (NYSE: AMH) celebrates Black History Month by featuring their Black and African American Employee Resource Group as they continue to build a more inclusive culture in AMH and in the communities they serve.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB) said its Black Associate Coalition (BAC) has planned various events honoring this year’s theme, 'Celebrating Black History: Past, Present, and Future.' Throughout February, BAC will host events that “delve into the rich tapestry of Black history, spanning topics from culture and heritage to achievements and milestones,” the REIT said.

Isaiah Johnson, a Camden sales manager, interviews Josh Allen, the first African American president of the Texas Apartment Association

Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT) is celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting an interview by Isaiah Johnson, a Camden sales manager, with Josh Allen, the first African American president of the Texas Apartment Association.


Elme Communities (NYSE: ELME) said it is celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting some of its team members who “bring their expertise to the workplace with their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and unique ideas.” 

Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS) said it was honored to have Glodean Champion, SSBB as its special guest speaker for Black History Month. “She shared her inspiring journey of success, leadership, and love. At Essex, Lead At Every Level is one of our core values, and Champion beautifully illustrated how leadership resides within all of us. We can learn and embrace the wisdom from everyone's unique journey,” the REIT said.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Extra Space Storage Inc. (NYSE: EXR) BIPOC ERG has chosen to spotlight the impact of Black artists and music within the Black community. “Music has long served as a powerful force in shaping the acceptance and celebration of Black culture, both throughout history and in our modern world,” the REIT said.

As part of this celebration, BIPOC ERG members were invited to contribute to a community playlist (you can access the songs on Spotify through this link). They shared their favorite songs and artists who have left a mark on the music landscape.

In addition, members shared their personal reflections on the significance of Black History Month:

  • "Black History Month to me symbolizes hope. It's a reminder of the resilience and determination of those who paved the way for us, and it fuels our commitment to creating a better tomorrow."
  • "For me, it's about finding inspiration in the stories and achievements of Black individuals throughout history. Their strength and perseverance continue to motivate us to strive for excellence."
  • "Celebrating Black History Month is about embracing our differences while uniting in solidarity. It's a time to honor the richness of Black culture and its invaluable contributions to society."

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) said it is honored to spotlight Della J's Delectables, a family-run Southern cuisine restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. Named after the mother of founder Jerry Young, “Della J's innovative approach to time-honored recipes, served up in the welcoming space of Mount Vernon Plaza, reflects a deep commitment to quality and the entrepreneurial spirit that resonates with our core values,” Federal said. “Della J's stands as a proud example of the power of Black entrepreneurship and the impactful role such businesses play in fostering a vibrant, inclusive community.”

This Black History Month, Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW) celebrated the impactful legacy of people and companies whose dedication to excellence has profoundly shaped the built environment, demonstrating the power of diversity and innovation in the REIT industry. Those highlighted included: McKissack and McKissack, pioneers in architecture and construction; Washington A. Martin, a trailblazer who patented a lock system that elevated security standards; Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first African American woman to become a licensed architect; and David N. Crosthwait, Jr., a groundbreaking figure who played a pivotal role in designing and implementing HVAC systems.

Independence Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: IRT) celebrated Black History Month by highlighting its team members’ voices, including: Lynn, resident account manager in Chicago; Pamela, community manager in North Richland Hills, Texas; and Israel, a leasing professional at The 1800 at Barrett Lakes in Atlanta.

Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE: INVH) celebrates the company’s employee resource group, The Black Collective, which fosters an inclusive environment by recognizing diversity and the Black experience at the REIT. The group also spearheads initiatives that support Invitation Home’s associates and the communities it serves. 

For Black History Month, Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM) highlighted Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, who the company has supported for many years, sharing her life and impact on civil rights through its Living Legacy Initiative. This year, the REIT’s LGBTA, Black Colleagues, and Women Employee Resource Groups selected the National Women's History Museum and the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice for donations in recognition of the work they do to share Pauli's story.

Jason Greene of JBG Smith

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) said it is celebrating Black History Month by shining a spotlight on “some of our amazing African American employees who were nominated for this honor.” That includes Jason Green, a portfolio manager who oversees six office buildings within JBG SMITH’s diverse commercial portfolio. JBG SMITH also celebrated Tre Holland, an endpoint engineer who manages workstations, phones, and software across the company; Danielle DeFreitas-Allen, a commercial senior real estate manager who focuses on retail; and Jayda Lanclos, a senior project accountant who handles all accounting functions for a few assets within the company’s residential portfolio.

JBG SMITH also celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, encouraging employees and social media followers to volunteer their time on the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. JBG SMITH is also supporting a research project to commemorate the lives of enslaved people who called Arlington, Virginia, home. This project team, led by the Arlington Historical Society and the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, is in the process of identifying the names and locations of the enslaved population of Arlington (formerly known as Alexandria County). So far, the team has found more than 100 sites where enslaved people lived and worked. 

Lineage, Inc. is featuring interviews with its team members this month who share the inspirational figures in their lives, resulting in a powerful mosaic of personal heroes, reflecting the diversity and strength within the company's community.

Throughout Black History Month, MAA  (NYSE: MAA) recognized and honored the heritage and accomplishments of African American culture by spotlighting its associates, including Maliyah J, a senior property manager in Atlanta, Georgia. MAA also celebrated the profound impact of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for equality, justice, and unity by reflecting on his powerful words and continuing the journey toward a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

This Black History Month, Macerich’s (NYSE: MAC) employee community engaged in fun events that center on education about Black history and experience, and its book club discussed Bryan Stevenson’s powerful memoir “Just Mercy.” Macerich also acknowledged Gap Inc., Macy's, and SEPHORA, its retailers that make space for Black business owners by supporting the Fifteen Percent Pledge. These companies pledge to devote 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses, representing the 15% of the U.S. population made up of Black people. 

National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE: NSA) fosters an inclusive workplace where diverse perspectives thrive, and the REIT celebrated Black History month by acknowledging the trailblazers, innovators, and changemakers who have left a lasting mark on history. NSA asked its social media followers to share their favorite books, documentaries, and stories of inspiration.

Outfront Billboard

OUTFRONT Media Inc. (NYSE: OUT) said it is proud to collaborate with Color Of Change on the impactful 'Until Justice Is Real' campaign. “Our billboards across the U.S. are here to spark action and unite communities, driving real change. As we continue into Black History Month, we're excited to build on this momentum and make an even bigger impact together,” the company said.

Also, for the second consecutive year, OUTFRONT Media partnered with Ad Age for its annual Black History Month feature celebrating Black creative excellence. The Celebrating Black Creative Excellence campaign highlighted key moments in the careers of inspiring and influential creators on OUTFRONT’s digital out of home media across the U.S. During the campaign, billboards featured a photo of a Black creative who is making an impact on the industry. The transit and street-level locations incorporated a QR code directing commuters to learn more about the full Black Creative Excellence series on AdAge.com. Throughout the campaign, OUTFRONT celebrated creatives including: Feh Tarty of Mesa Company; Melvone Farrell of Melvone Makeup; Marques E. Zak of American Express; and Obinna Keke of SheaMoisture.

OUTFRONT also celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. by featuring his face on its billboard inventory across the country.

Phillips Edison & Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: PECO) honored Black History Month by spotlighting one of its Black-owned and operated tenants, The Find Grooming Studio at Deerwood Lake Commons in Jacksonville, Florida.

Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC) commemorated Black History Month by recognizing and promoting the invaluable contributions of Black Americans who have left an enduring mark on healthcare.

Rayonier Inc. (NYSE: RYN) honored Black History Month by spotlighting George Washington Carver’s research on the importance of crop rotation for soil productivity and sharing how Rayonier uses crop rotation in its nurseries.

Ready Capital Corp. (NYSE: RC) is honoring Black History Month, and keeping in line with this year’s theme , which focuses on African Americans and the Arts, Ready Capital is sharing thoughtfully curated firmwide events with its employees as a means of reflection and learning.

Regency Centers Corporation (Nasdaq: REG) celebrated Black History Month by reflecting on the profound contributions of Black individuals, both past and present, and publicly encouraging their social media followers to join them in that reflection.

SBA Communications Corporation  (Nasdaq: SBAC) honored Black History Month by recognizing the history, contributions, and legacies of black individuals who have shaped our world and encouraging their social media followers to do the same

Veris Residential, Inc.(NYSE: VRE) is honoring Black History Month by sharing their employees' insights into the significance of this month, with the aim of deepening understanding and offering support while celebrating the rich tapestry of Black history.

W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC) said it is celebrating Black History Month by welcoming Dr. Michele Harper, an award-winning physician, author, and speaker, to discuss health, equity, and social healing. WPC said it will also be supporting The Schomburg Center, a renowned research library focused on preserving materials focused on African experiences, and Saving Mothers, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating preventable maternal deaths and birth-related complications in low-resource settings.

Throughout February, the W. P. Carey DEI Committee will also share a series of spotlights on Black Americans whose achievements helped shape our country.

Related Links:

Honoring the Past, Investing in the Future – BHM 2024 Kickoff

Past REIT BHM Activities Compilations:

Get Nareit Developments blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.


Subscribe to the Developments Blog