Tapping the Best, by Paul Ellis
A long-standing public perception is that the St. Louis region tends to struggle with cooperative efforts to strengthen communities.
ULI St. Louis will launch a new program this fall aimed at advancing the real estate careers of professionals of color and women.
Launched a decade ago in Colorado, ULI’s Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI) has become a model for ULI chapters for fostering education and career opportunities for people of color and women. Thanks in part to a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ULI is expanding the REDI program. In May, ULI St. Louis received one of four $20,000 grants offered by ULI to help launch its own REDI program.
“We are absolutely thrilled that we won a grant. The REDI program seems to be a wonderful next step for our work in equity, which in St. Louis has grown into what we’re calling our Equitable Communities Initiative,” said Kacey Cordes Mahrt, Chair of Mission Advancement at ULI St. Louis and Vice President at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation in St. Louis.
ULI St. Louis’ Equitable Communities programming was created in response to the Ferguson Commission report, and events and programs aim at improving racial equity in the real estate development sector. “We absolutely need to cultivate a group of developers of color and women to really help us get the big regional work done that is needed – organic redevelopment of so many neighborhoods and pockets of the city that we currently don’t have the capacity for,” said Cordes Mahrt. The grant will build on work that ULI St. Louis has been doing to build relationships with stakeholders in community development.
ULI St. Louis is currently taking applications for its first REDI class of 30 that will launch this fall. The curriculum will include 15 sessions that put participants in the role of a real estate developer. REDI participants will gain direct knowledge and experience working in teams to produce a development plan, pro-forma, and marketing plan for a real development project.
The 2019 REDI sessions will run weekly on Mondays from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, from September 9 through December 16.
For more details, check out this informational brochure: REDI program information 2019.