Too often we only consider Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the surface level — when they are publicly announced or lauded in marketing materials — instead of measuring the positive and long-term impacts they can have on a business.

Bisnow is proud to announce the Rise Initiative, an ongoing effort that brings awareness to the need for DEI advancement within the commercial real estate industry. Rise begins with an annual honoree program that recognizes companies for their impactful DEI efforts. By shining a spotlight on organizations and sharing programs that demonstrate measurable outcomes, Rise aims to highlight meaningful strategies and replicable programs that will help the CRE workforce become increasingly diverse and inclusive.

With the goal of sharing paths of success, and defining a collective benchmark for DEI progress, Bisnow is calling on companies to submit their DEI programs for The Rise Initiative.

Along with the Council of Urban Real Estate New York (CURE NY), Bisnow has recruited a diverse group of industry experts (see details below) to shape the program and independently evaluate all submissions. Bisnow staff will not appraise any of the submissions.

For the inaugural Rise Initiative, we will recognize progress in the following DEI category:


Recognizing firm-level ideas, initiatives and/or campaigns that have measurably contributed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace. Initiatives could include:

a. Recruitment and retention initiatives
b. Mentorship programs and partnerships to support a more diverse workforce
c. Fostering equality of opportunity within the company culture
d. Initiatives that actively address unconscious bias in corporate decision making
e. Strategies to increase the visible minority representation at your firm

Companies that are selected as honorees will:
  • Be recognized as a DEI changemaker within CRE 
  • Make new connections with other DEI focused leaders at a spring cocktail event in NYC
  • Be featured in a special editorial piece sent out nationally to more than 2 million Bisnow news subscribers
  • Have their program highlighted in an effort to inspire the creation of more initiatives across the industry
  • Receive a digital honoree badge to help drive awareness of the need for more companies to actively work toward a more diverse workforce
  • Receive exclusive invitations to join panels and speaking opportunities regarding diversity at local industry events
  • Be included in ongoing outreach and marketing initiatives for the Rise Initiative 

Leaders from across the commercial real estate industry signed an open letter, highlighting the importance of urgent and collaborative action on DEI.

Debbie Harmon, Artemis Real Estate Partners
Sonny Kalsi, BentallGreenOak
Matt Van Buren, CBRE
Lee Millstein, Cerberus
David Amsterdam, Colliers
Sonya Rocvil, Council of Urban Real Estate
Nadine Augusta, Cushman & Wakefield
Laura Jackson, FTI Consulting
Peter Riguardi, JLL
Dan Shannon, MdeAS Architecture
Desmonde Monroe, The Monroe Group
​​John Brady, Oaktree Capital Management
Cedric Bobo, Project Destined
Lynn Reyes, pürEpiphany
Scott Rechler, RXR Realty
Mitchell E. Rudin, Savills North America
  • We want to hear from organizations who are making strides in DEI to increase visibility, transparency and shared learnings across the industry
  • Our judging committee will look for more than just goodwill; concise stories, specific examples, and data-driven results will be more heavily weighted
  • Should a conflict of interest arise between an organization submitting an entry and one of the steering committee judges, the entry will be accepted and the individual judge will be recused.
  • Nominated company programs can be located anywhere in the U.S.
  • The entry deadline is January 28th, 2022
  • We may reach out to you for additional information
  • The Rise 2021 honorees will be announced at the event, on April 28th, 2022
  • If you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat with us about the initiative, please feel free to reach us at [email protected]

Director, MACRO
Principal, Bedrock Real Estate Investors
managing director & licensed real estate agent,  Helmsley Spear
Silverstein Chair & Academic Dean, NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate
CEO, The Monroe Group
Principal, HOK

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