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 annual honoree program dedicated to recognizing progress in DEI, but with a defined focus on measuring actual advancement. The initiative is about more than just goodwill. Rise aims to improve the commercial real estate industry by highlighting companies that have DEI programs that are working. It is our intent to shine a light on organizations that demonstrate measurable DEI outcomes in an effort to share meaningful strategies and help the CRE workforce become increasingly diverse and inclusive through replicable programs.

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 here 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

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 December 22nd, 2021
  • We may reach out to you for additional information
  • The Rise 2021 honorees will be announced at the event, on March 3rd, 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
Aviation Compliance Director, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Silverstein Chair & Academic Dean, NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate
CEO, The Monroe Group
Co-Founder, pürEpiphany 
Principal, HOK

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