What Home Stagers Can Do to Support Their Black Colleagues
Jun 03, 2020
Police brutality and systemic racism permeate every aspect of society, including the staging and real estate industries. There is nothing new about this crisis. The only thing new is our response. By listening to black stagers, including some of Staging Studio’s own team members, we realized that we must take real action, now, to stop the silence, ignorance, and oppression. It is long past time. As an industry, we need to stand up to injustice and push for structural change.
If you are a black member of the staging community, we are here to listen and stand with you. For others, there are countless ways to be an ally. These are some of the policies we are implementing in our own company:
- Create a company culture of mutual respect and open communication. Team members must feel they have a voice and that their concerns will be listened to, validated, and acted upon.
- Educate yourself on the history of racism in the real estate industry. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership is a 2019 book by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a professor of African-American studies at Princeton. Other articles on the topic can be found here, here, and here.
- Install dash and back cameras to company trucks.
- Provide shirts with your company logo.
- Display company logo on all vehicles. This could be a wrap on a truck or a magnetic sign that can attach to vehicles.
- Upon arrival at a home, announce the arrival of the team, even in vacant homes, to make sure anyone on the property knows who you are and why you’re there.
- Have a company policy for when an employee is pulled over or stopped by the police while driving a company vehicle or personal vehicle for work. This could include carrying the staging invoice and property address inside the vehicle, and the passenger recording all interactions on their phone. Stating that company policy is to film all law enforcement interactions can provide protection.
- Be diligent about communicating correct alarm codes for stages and de-stages.
- Have a company policy for when a home alarm goes off at a stage or de-stage.
- When issuing a company credit card, be sensitive to adding any qualifiers to how it is used. The act of giving them a card implies that you trust them. Don’t make them feel otherwise.
- Provide medical-grade or professionally-manufactured masks. Wearing a homemade mask or bandana can be dangerous for black men.
- Donate. Staging Studio is donating 10% of our course sales in the month of June to Campaign Zero through our Give Back program. Campaign Zero is a police reform nonprofit that uses research-based policy solutions to end police brutality across the country.
We implore the white members of the staging industry to stand up to injustice and do everything they can to empower and support our community members of color. These are just a few ways to do so – please comment or reach out with additional ideas. We will continue to research and listen so we can better serve our community.
Special thanks to Charlton Knight, our Logistics Manager, Ethan Watson, one of our Logistics Team members, and Justice Madrigal of Sapphire Home Staging for their contributions to this blog.
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