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

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.

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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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.