An ASU partnership attempts to increase diversity in the real estate industry

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, August 29, 2022 - 12:46pm
Updated: Monday, August 29, 2022 - 3:25pm

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There has been inequity in access to housing for people of color for generations.

From redlining to discriminatory lending practices, the effects are still being felt today for many Black and Latino families who never were able to accumulate or pass on wealth in this common way.

And it turns out the inequities go beyond who can buy or rent a home. There is also a serious lack of diversity in who works in the real estate industry.

It’s something Murphy Cheatham has experienced firsthand. Cheatham is a diversity, equity and inclusion specialist for commercial real estate services and investment company CBRE. He is an alum of Grambling State University in Louisiana, and he now serves on their board.

Mark Stapp (left) and Murphy Cheatham
Murphy Cheatham.
Mark Stapp (left) and Murphy Cheatham.

He also got his real estate training at Arizona State University, where director Mark Stapp was his mentor. Last year, the two of them joined forces to start a first-of-its-kind program to offer real estate development courses for students at the historically Black university where Cheatham went.

The Show spoke with Cheatham to learn about the initiative. The conversation began with his experience as a student in real estate, and he said he realized there was one thing that put him behind right away.

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