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Why are we doing this work?

We started the Black Male Real Estate Expo (BMREE) to address the concerning and persistently high unemployment rate among Black males in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.

Compared to other racial and ethnic groups, Black Chicagoans face the highest levels of poverty and unemployment, along with the lowest median household income. Data shows that 23 Black neighborhoods in Chicago have unemployment rates in the double digits, with 18 neighborhoods exceeding 15%. For instance, in West Garfield Park, nearly 80% of African American males aged 17-34 are unemployed, according to Richard Wallace, executive director of the nonprofit organization Equity and Transformation (EAT).

unemployment rates for Black young adults aged 20-24

Although the pandemic contributed to the rise in unemployment from 2019 to 2020, the rest of the nation is beginning to see improvements in 2021. However, unemployment rates for Black young adults aged 20-24 in Chicago and Illinois continue to increase.


Lutalo McGee, founder of BMREE, seeks to tackle high unemployment rates among African American males by offering a platform and resources in real estate and construction. The goal is to create solutions to this issue by having Black male business owners share their knowledge, paving the way for young Black men to achieve success through real estate entrepreneurship.

Why focus on entrepreneurship?

Black entrepreneurs have a median net worth 12 times higher than non-business-owners, according to the Chicago Community Trust. Addressing Black male unemployment not only affects individuals but also impacts neighborhood development and community well-being, contributing to economic disparities and social challenges

The organizers of BMREE, bring unique experiences and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), to provide empowering information and networking opportunities for attendees. Supporting Black males in gaining access to employment and entrepreneurship aligns with efforts to reduce inequality and promote economic inclusion. As BMREE continues to expand outside the Chicagoland area, it will reach more underrepresented Black males, addressing wealth disparity. This is crucial for a community comprising 12-13% of the US population but possessing less than 2% of the wealth, while "white households have an average wealth ten times greater than Black households" and "eight times more than Latinx households," as reported by Crain’s. This initiative aims to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and contribute to socio-economic transformation within the real estate sector.

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