News Article

Avondale 5th grader wins art contest commemorating Fair Housing Act

By Denise Berkhalter

This year, the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® joined REALTORS® across the country to embark on a yearlong commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, legislation that now prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin.  

To raise awareness of fair housing issues and observe this milestone, BAR and its partners offered two events: an art competition for local youth and a diversity certification course for professionals.

“Fair housing protects the American Dream of homeownership for all citizens,” said 2018 BAR President Kim Mangham-Barelare. “Here in Jefferson and Shelby counties, REALTORS® actively support the development of healthy and diverse communities.”

On June 14 at BAR’s Annual Awards and Membership Luncheon at The Club, nearly 400 attendees applauded the young artists whose artwork will hang in the association’s office in Homewood as a reminder of the significance of April 11, 1968, when the Fair Housing Act was signed.

BAR partnered with Renasant Bank to sponsor the art contest for K-12 Birmingham City Schools students. The winners received an Amazon Kindle Fire and Amazon gift cards ($75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place). They are:

  • First place Zaiderick Hayes, fifth grade, Avondale Elementary School;
  • Second place Ashya Bradford, 11th grade, Huffman High School; and 
  • Third place Ja’Darius Odom, third grade, West End Academy.

The honorable mentions are:

  • Lexie Beard, 4th grade, EPIC Elementary School
  • Elise Foreman, kindergarten, W.J. Christian School
  • David Jackson, kindergarten, W.J. Christian School
  • Julius Jackson, 5th grade, EPIC Elementary School
  • Blessing Patrick, 5th grade, EPIC Elementary School
  • Ozaria Spencer, 4th grade, EPIC Elementary School
  • Shenise Willis, 5th grade, West End Academy

Hayes, Bradford and Odom were honored alongside BAR’s prestigious award winners: 2018 REALTOR® of the Year Faith Harper of RE/MAX Northern, 2018 Tom Rast President’s Cup honoree Pam Segars Morris of SeBro Realty; 2018 Earline Cummings Affiliate of the Year Kelley Bailey of Movement Mortgage; 2017 Residential Broker of the Year Erle Morring of RealtySouth Acton Road; 2018 Residential Sales Associate of the Year Kyle Forstman of Ingram & Associates; and 2017 Residential Sales Rookie of the Year Jordan Hosey of Keller Williams Hoover.

The local chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® was BAR’s partner in offering the April 23 At Home with Diversity® course taught by instructor Firdaus Rahman. The course helped prepare REALTORS® to work effectively with and within today’s increasingly diverse pool of homebuyers. This core course is required to obtain the At Home with Diversity® Certification and also counts as elective credit toward several professional designations.

“Fair housing protects the American Dream of homeownership for all citizens and develops healthy and diverse communities and neighborhoods where all people can live and prosper,” Mangham-Barelare said. “On this occasion, we reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law, as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for a home or property.”

The local, state and national commemoration of this landmark legislation continues throughout the year. The National Association of REALTORS® is focusing on three key elements: acknowledging the organization’s changing role in the fight for fair housing, understanding how we as a nation are constantly improving our commitment to fair housing and ways REALTORS® strive to lead efforts to address fair housing policy issues.

To learn how you can help advance fair housing, visit

The Birmingham Association of REALTORS® ( was founded in 1911 and endeavors to enhance members' opportunities to serve consumers in a professional, ethical and profitable manner. The Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service ( and the Birmingham Commercial REALTORS® Council ( are subsidiary corporations of BAR. BAR is recognized as Alabama’s trusted real estate authority. REAL Support. REAL Solutions. REAL Success!