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How Can Mortgage Professionals Promote Diversity?

diversityOn Friday, June 15, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) and Bank of America hosted the latest in a series of LGBT Town Halls, this one unfolding in Los Angeles, California. Hosted at Bank of America’s Hollywood office, the event brought together participating servicers and local LGBT community groups for a day of discussion regarding issues affecting the LGBT community, both from a homeownership perspective and a workplace inclusion perspective.

The event was the fourth such Town Hall organized by the AMDC this year, with previous events happening in Dallas, Chicago, and Miami. Participating organizations included Bank of America, Covenant House California, The Five Star Institute, Fannie Mae, Lambda Legal, Landmark, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), PennyMac, The Trevor Project, and U.S. Bank.

After opening remarks from Derek Templeton, Executive Director of the AMDC, and Kathy Cummings, SVP, Consumer Education at Bank of America and Chair of the AMDC, the day then moved into a discussion of Homeownership and Fair Housing in the LGBT Community. This segment featured John Graff, Chair, NAGLREP Policy Committee.

After a brief break, the focus then shifted to Workplace Inclusion and Gender Identity Discrimination, hosted by Shedrick Davis, Western Regional Director for Lambda Legal, a national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people with HIV.

Following lunch, Alana Weinroth, Development Officer, Covenant House California, led a discussion of LGBT Youth Homelessness before Templeton wrapped things up with the event’s closing remarks around noon.

“The American Mortgage Diversity Council is committed to continuing to work toward an industry and a culture that is inclusive of all,” Templeton told DS News. “Today’s discussions were useful toward gaining further understanding of the unique concerns of the LGBT community. We look forward to continuing this important work.”

In addition to promoting a dialogue between banks, mortgage companies, and LGBT community organizations, this series of AMDC Town Halls will culminate in the creation of a white paper report that will be circulated to thought leaders across the country, including mortgage industry leaders, housing policy experts, and participating LGBT organizations.

You can learn more about the AMDC, including their ongoing webinar series exploring topics related to diversity and inclusion, by clicking here.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Editor-in-Chief at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has nearly 20 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. He can be reached at [email protected].

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