Hyepin Im, President & CEO, FACE
President Im gave a welcome and overview of the event as well as shared some insightful datapoints related to housing inequities across the Black and Brown communities as well as the AAPI community. President Im highlighted the importance of this event as a symbol of solidarity across the AAPI & Black communities through tangible action. FACE’s President & CEO Hyepin Im said,“Today we are excited to announce our upcoming 2023 Black Homeownership Fair. It is our 3rd time hosting this event with the African American community. It is meaningful to note that Black and Korean homeownership rates are the same in this country and we want to work in solidarity to promote homeownership for both our communities. We want to share the good news that there is a pathway to homeownership and building wealth.”
Mame Mbaye, Consul General of Senegal, African Consular Corps
Consul General Mbaye talked about the housing crisis in Los Angeles and the
importance of housing people in a home of their own.
Mame Mbaye, Consul General of Senegal, African Consular Corps said, “Housing is part of the reason why we are really here to try to reach out and see how we can help them because there is a lot of homelessness…and I know owning a home and being in a place that you call home is very important.”
Thomas Kwaka Omolo, Consul General of Kenya
Consul General Omolo spoke on the importance of coming together to change the
outcomes of our communities and encouraged the Kenyan American and immigrant
community to engage in attending the fair.
Thomas Kwaka Omolo, Consul General of Kenya said, “We do this because its good. Having a roof over our head is a fundamental right. In essence [Face] is helping them building house for themselves. We are grateful such opportunities are granted. For us, to people who plan to go back to Africa is to take back the lessons that we learn here. “
DeLlora Ellis-Gant, President, LA County African American
Employees Association (LACAAEA)
President Ellis-Grant spoke on how this initiative aligns with LACAAEA’s
commitment to supporting the African American community and providing tangible
resources for wealth development. DeLlora Ellis-Grant, President of Los Angeles County African-American Employees Association said, “This elevates, educate and empower. This homeownership fair aligns with our mission. We know many of them are rent burden. The reality is, since 1950, we have more homeownership then than now. So this was a perfect alignment with us. We are so happy to be here. We are excited and look forward to the partnership.”
Tara Parham, Vice President, LA County African American Employees
Vice President Parham spoke on how the homeownership fair would bring people
together to do good for the community.
Tara Parham, Vice President, Los Angeles County African-American Employees Association said, “What we want to do is discourage biases and through that elevate our African American culture. You know, we know, and we truly believe we can do so much more together than we can ever do apart.”
Alex Monteiro, Councilmember, City of Hawthorne
Councilmember Monteiro, who is part of the Fair’s Honorary Committee, shared the importance of helping people achieve a slice of the American Dream though homeownership.
Alex Monteiro, Councilmember, City of Hawthorne said, “The city of Hawthorne is very diverse and 73% are renters. The American dream, especially the middle class, is to own a home and that you see the value of a home can go up and down, but housing is one of the things that move people out of poverty, out of that one paycheck away to becoming homeless, so that is where we need to advertise.”
Eric Asiedu, Director, Mortgage Marketing & Sales Support,
First Citizens Bank
Eric Asiedu, representing First Citizens Bank, the lead sponsor for the homeownership fair, reiterated First Citizens Bank’s dedication to helping/partnering with the
community in achieving equitable milestones. Eric Asiedu, Director, Mortage Marketing & Sales Support, First Citizens Bank said, “This month actually we celebrate our 125th anniversary…of commitment to our people, to our communities, and to our businesses, the businesses that served in our community. And so today we are proud to collaborate with the community partners like FACE and others.”
Dr. Ken Barnes, Managing Consultant, Barnes Training & Consulting
Dr. Barnes, one of the planning committee members and who originally advocated for the first fair, spoke on how this initiative began and FACE’s history with developing
targeted homeownership fairs for the African immigrant community. Ken Barnes, Managing Consultant, Barnes Training & Consulting stated, “We planned the first fair for African Immigrants… it was very successful. The next year, we did the second one at Pomona and also very successful. We helped a lot. Here we are and I am very grateful that something that started with African immigrants have expanded to what we call our brothers and sisters in the diaspora. Homeownership is the source of wealth.”
Special thanks to our other guests and sponsors who attended the press conference!
- Anita Dharapuram, Vice President, Community Consultant, Community Development Banking, PNC Bank
- Veronica Baron, Emerging Markets Mortgage Officer, PNC Bank