I’m not a fan of Elf on the Shelf. It is a very good thing that it was not invented locally, because then I would feel obliged to write about it. However, I find myself intrigued by this guy.
This is Cool Duck. Cool Duck appears to be affiliated with the Howard County Association of Realtors.
Here we see Cool Duck posing in front of HCAR’s core values:
- Demonstrate Leadership
- Value Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Promote Professionalism
- Foster Collaboration
- Strengthen Community
- Act with Intengrity
Pretty serious thoughts for a little duck.
The Howard County Association of Realtors describes itself as “the voice for real estate in Howard County.” Their mission?
The Howard County Association of REALTORS® serves its members by providing resources that enable them to conduct business professionally while promoting and enforcing ethical standards. It is our vision to be Howard County's "Voice" and leading advocate for homeownership, the real estate industry, and those issues that most affect the association's members, while enhancing the REALTOR® image in the profession and within our community.
Okay. But…why a duck? Hmm…I wonder if Cool Duck is an Agent of Change?
The Agents of Change Program is an HCAR designation that is to be given to those agents who go above and beyond to demonstrate their commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - - HCAR website
If you wonder why DEI training is an up and coming thing in Real Estate, you have probably never experienced biased treatment in the process of trying to buy or sell a house. This fairly recent article in the Baltimore Banner describes how racism pops up in the realestate industry.
Black real estate professionals say systemic racism remains a problem in industry, John-John Williams IV, Baltimore Banner
Want to learn more? Google it.
Of course DEI refers to more than issues of race. Other factors have been known to present as stumbling blocks for potential buyers: ethnicity, religion, gender, disability status. We like to think of Columbia as a living shining example of inclusion but it won’t continue to be if we don’t work at it. Realtors are at the front line of whether potential new residents will feel welcomed or rejected.
The reason I’m guessing that Cool Duck has something to do with Diversity Equity and Inclusion is that he appeared in the social media feed of Najee Bailey, HCAR’s Government, DEI & Public Affairs Director. It’s only a guess, and I could be wrong. With the way things have been going lately, this duck could be running for Congress or the Senate.
I’ll be keeping an eye on that little guy.