We recognize at Columbus Apartment Association (CAA) there is work to do. We are presented with a unique opportunity for change and unity, which we hope that all Americans will embrace. We are dedicated to being more intentional in our efforts for greater inclusion and diversity within the CAA community of staff, volunteers, board members and membership.
Our industry is interconnected with the principles of the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights laws which are based on the concept that all people should be treated equally. This is a practice that all in our industry are bound to adhere to.
Equity in the treatment and service to all our residents, the public and employees continues to be the cornerstone of the mission of the CAA and, that of our members. We are committed to fighting against racism and discrimination in the rental housing industry and outfitting our members with the resources to have meaningful conversations about diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias.
We are now providing an action plan to support those statements. We clearly have work to do to be more inclusive and to increase our diversity, both within our organization and within our broader community.
We stand with all those working for widespread social change to eradicate racism and injustice. We join the outcry for greater inclusion and equity. We are committed to having tangible and actionable goals behind that urgency.
We have begun a conversation on how we can address unintentional bias in our organization, where we can do a better job of inclusive outreach, and how we can start taking immediate steps to increase our diversity and inclusion within the CAA. CAA staff and Board are discussing how we meaningfully move forward in an actionable way. These are the first steps we are taking with what will be a long-term and ongoing process that we are committed to sustaining and resourcing:
Processes review -- We’ll review our key processes to make sure our questions, decision points and programs are free from bias. We will look for places where we can do more to answer specific needs of diversity and inclusion.
Outreach to diverse leaders -- Increase outreach to diverse community leaders to help us gain understanding of their community needs and how we can support each other’s efforts.
Continuing education -- Implement interactive educational sessions for our members throughout the year. We will expand these efforts and continue them moving forward.
Expanding our work -- Actively focus on holding events and educational sessions in more diverse areas.
Expand Diversity -- Include diverse leaders in each area of the CAA who can help us expand our outreach and implement our plan in a meaningful and impactful way.
Ongoing Commitment to Diversity
Focus on internal roles working to achieve diversity in our organization and extended community.
Increase diversity on our board of directors and within our organizational leadership.
Develop long-term, action-oriented partnerships with diversity groups to enable ongoing outreach, engagement, and two-way support for the long term.
We encourage everyone to take advantage of all resources available, including those of the National Apartment Association on their Diversity and Inclusion page.
We are at the very beginning of a transformation that will take time, hard work, self-awareness and honest communication. We know we have serious work to do, and we are committed to that work. Over time we will add to the actionable items focused on broader community and long-term diversity efforts. While we know there will be difficult discussions and challenges along the way, we are committed to change, and we will not shy away from these tough realities. We know the result of these efforts will be a stronger, more vital organization able to benefit from the opportunity of diversity and inclusiveness.
We look forward to your participation with our efforts.