Lydia Pope counts among the fortunate, and she knows that. Pope also doesn’t pull any punches when advocating for African Americans, particularly as it pertains to generational wealth.
Her father worked throughout Cleveland, Ohio, to help turn around the lives of gang members. Pope’s mother worked a lunch program that fed those individuals after her father tutored them about the importance of homeownership and generational wealth.
“My father passed away in 1991, and my mom told me that we were the second Black family to move onto our block when I was younger,” Pope, the president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), said during an interview inside the television studio of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in Washington, D.C. “My mother told me about the real estate card she possessed that prompted her to own a home.”
Pope reminisced during a conversation with NNPA President/CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. The entire conversation will air this season on PBS-TV and PBS-World during a telecast of The Chavis Chronicles.
Today, Pope’s brother owns the family’s Cleveland home, which she said will eventually pass to his son.
“It’s all about a succession plan,” Pope said. “This is how you build generational wealth.”
NAREB offers five pillars to building Black wealth, according to Pope. The five pillars include:
- Multi-generational wealth.
- Government relations and advocacy.
- Diversity and inclusion for small businesses.
- Women’s initiatives.
- Faith-based and civic engagement.
“Even today, the rate of Black homeownership is still at 46%. We have not moved the needle, so it’s important that as Black people, we have to fight for what we want,” Pope said. “When you talk about democracy and housing, it’s important that we understand that we have to continue to fight for what we want. If that means going to our legislatures, that’s what we do. Our goal is to talk and advocate for the community, for those in need, for those who can’t speak for themselves. We can be the voice for them.”
Pope counts as the third woman president in NAREB’s 74-year history.
She has worked in real estate since 1995 and serves as the owner/president of E&D Realty & Investment Company, Inc.; E&D Realty Property Management Division; and E&D Construction Company.
According to Pope’s biography, some of her past and current accomplishments including past president of the Women’s Council of NAREB; Mt. Pleasant Advisory Board; Ohio Housing Finance Agency Committee; Cleveland Realtist Association past president and chair; and the Cleveland/Akron Legislative Committee.
Pope also holds a longtime membership with the NAACP.
Significantly, Pope declared that NAREB seeks ways to assist African Americans in wealth building and sustainability. Founded in Tampa, Florida, in 1947 as an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy organization for African American real estate professionals, consumers, and communities in America. According to its website, the purpose of NAREB is to enhance the economic improvement of its members, the community at large, and the minority community which it serves.
To unite those engaged in the recognized branches of the real estate industry including brokerage, management, mortgage financing, appraising, land development, home building, and allied fields for the purpose of exerting influence on real estate interests. Although composed principally of African Americans, the realtist organization embraces all qualified real estate practitioners who are committed to achieving our vision, which is Democracy in Housing.
“Our mission is to provide solutions to the various challenges Black people face,” Pope said. “It’s not just increasing awareness of the barriers to homeownership, but we want to provide solutions to all of the challenges, and educating our community is one of the biggest ways we at NAREB can have a positive impact.”