ULI Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI)
The Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI) began in 2009 at ULI Colorado and is a program intended to increase the number of women and people of color in ULI and in the real estate industry. REDI is a training and mentorship program for these traditionally underrepresented groups. The curriculum goes step-by-step through the real estate development process with presentations by ULI volunteers. Outside of the classroom setting, REDI participants apply what they learn as they work in teams to create a development proposal for a real, local site. REDI participants not only have access to ULI members who serve as session speakers and team mentors, but they can also receive a free ULI membership upon completion of the program, which gives them access to an expanded network that can propel participants in their personal and professional lives.
Through a grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation in 2018, the program expanded to ULI Minnesota, ULI Memphis, ULI Indiana, ULI Kansas City, and ULI St. Louis, and ULI is hoping for further expansions.
Core program components of the ULI Real Estate Diversity Initiative include:
- The program is an exclusive opportunity for women and people of color
- Curriculum is based on samples developed originally by ULI Colorado and Minnesota, and adapted to local District Council’s needs, local market specifics, member input, and speakers input
- Experiential/project-based learning opportunity for participants to learn about the development process using a real, local study and what it takes to put together a successful development
- Participants can further their careers by learning directly from real estate mentors about the challenges and opportunities in the local industry and apply lessons to a project as their group devises plans for development on a specific site. Each team will produce a development plan, pro-forma, and marketing plan.
Each District Council has its own application process and may charge a modest program fee that participants agree to pay to cover the bare minimum of staff time devoted to managing REDI. Many District Councils depend on sponsors and grants to cover the cost of offering REDI, making it more accessible to more people. For more information on a specific District Council REDI program, please see the individual District Council’s website.