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“Closing the Gap Live” aims to deliver the dream of home ownership to Black families

ATLANTA – Black real estate professionals will meet in Atlanta on March 10, at Closing the Gap Live, where they will address a long-running crisis in the United States: the typical Black household has less than a quarter of the wealth of the typical white household.

The problem, according to Valyn Cole Lyons, CEO and Broker of Atlanta’s Cole Realty Group, who is co-sponsoring the event, is that Black people have historically been shut out of the most likely path to building wealth: homeownership.

“It’s unconscionable that housing disparities account for more than a third of the overall $3 trillion median wealth gap between Blacks and Whites,” said Lyons, who will speak at the event. “We need more Black real estate agents and more Black-owned real estate brokerages in our communities. These professionals should be armed with up-to-date business know-how, to unlock homeownership for those who’ve been denied the opportunity for far too long.”

Closing the Gap Live is billed as a learning, training, and networking opportunity for underrepresented real estate professionals. Lyons points out that, along with increasing the number of Black real estate agents and brokers, empowering these professionals with new skills and broader networks will spur opportunities and economic growth. Closing the Gap Live will provide those opportunities for both current real estate professionals and those interested in entering the field.

“The mission of Closing the Gap Live is nothing less than to effect positive generational change,” said Atlanta broker Sharon Henry, a co-owner at EXIT Realty Quality Solutions, which is also co-sponsoring the event.

“Fewer than six percent of all real estate professionals are Black, compared to 75 percent who are White. I don’t think it’s coincidental that there is less homeownership among Black families when there are so few real estate professionals who look like us. That needs to change, and it needs to change now.”  

Henry will speak at the event about how to start, build, and grow a real estate brokerage. Danielle Stevenson, co-founder of League Realty, points out that less than one percent of brokerages in the US have Black owners. 

“As a double minority-owned brokerage, we understand the challenges created by equity disparities in the market, both as agents, and as business owners,” Stevenson said. “Each of us has to do our part to effect change and reach underserved communities. Having an educational platform to help aspiring agents earn their salesperson and brokers licenses, and helping them thrive, creates diversity on both sides of the transaction. Being able to go into underserved neighborhoods and speak from personal experience about the unique challenges disenfranchised buyers face in attaining homeownership helps to create trust for our profession while bridging the wealth and ownership gap." 

Sessions at Closing the Gap Live will include learning to become a top seller, how to grow a team — and through partnerships — and sessions on how to invest in the community in which you do business. 

Registrations — open to real estate professionals and other community members — are now open. Learn more at

Black real estate professionals, and those who aspire to learn the trade, to gather in Atlanta to bring economic opportunities to their communities 
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