A Scholarship Opportunity from Our Platinum Sponsor

Congratulations to AAREP DC’s Sonja S. Wells

Sonja S. WellsAAREP congratulates longtime Board Director, Sonja S. Wells on her promotion to EVP and Chief Lending Officer, leading the commercial banking group at City First Bank. Sonja Wells is the only African American woman to hold a CLO position at a bank in Washington, DC.

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Congratulations to AAREP DC’s Christopher Coes

Christopher CoesCongratulations to AAREP DC’s Christopher Coes on his appointment to the Biden-Harris administration to serve in the U.S. Department of Transportation as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.

In his new position at USDOT working with incoming Secretary-designate Pete Buttigieg, Coes will be responsible for recommending overall surface transportation policy initiatives to the Secretary. The office coordinates multi-modal initiatives and processes, such as the development of DOT’s proposal for this year’s looming long-term transportation reauthorization, and the coordination of the President’s Executive Order on streamlining environmental reviews of transportation infrastructure

Christopher has served AAREP DC for many years in several capacities and the Administration will benefit tremendously from his knowledge, skill set and expertise. We stand behind him and are excited about all the great things he will contribute to our country in his new role.

Together, We March Forward.


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Call to Action – Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

AAREP Advocacy Results in Change to Language in Recently Released Request for Proposals by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to Incorporate “Equitable Development” and “Component Development.”

Please review the active and upcoming RFPs for opportunities!

Active Now:


Watch the DC Economic Recovery Team (DERT) Presentation on Equity here:

New RFP Language:

Equitable Development Process

Mayor Bowser has charged her entire administration with ensuring every Washingtonian gets a fair shot. The Mayor recognizes that the District is a powerful tool for investing in the economic vitality of residents and neighborhoods. As the District of Columbia continues to grow and change, the District’s investments and decisions will continue to play an important role in shaping the future of our city and providing opportunity to those who have historically been locked out of prosperity. Building the District of Columbia into a more inclusive and equitable city will not happen by chance, it will be the result of intentional decisions that are designed to overcome long-standing inequities, that reflect our shared DC values, and that provide Washingtonians across all eight wards every opportunity to rise.

In the interest of advancing access to opportunities to manage meaningful development activities, DMPED has designated this project as an instance to serve the dual purpose of promoting economic activity and facilitating equitable access to the opportunities afforded by development projects. Equitable access to meaningful opportunities for development, project management, and delivery is a critical pathway towards ensuring that the District’s growth reflects diverse needs and equitably benefits residents.

The District intends to take deliberate steps to assist small, local, and disadvantaged businesses and people to not just participate in larger opportunities but build the capacity necessary to lead and manage them in the future.

Equitable Inclusion Preferences

DMPED will prioritize Respondents that maximize by leadership and/or inclusion:

  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Other persons who are members of historically disadvantaged groups

Team Composition Priority
DMPED will prioritize Proposals that maximize, by percentage of ownership and control, entities designated as Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) and Resident-owned Business (“ROB”), or any entities (including non-profits and community institutions) led by, or majority controlled by, individuals designated as socially disadvantaged under the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) definition.

For projects with multiple parcels or components, the above prioritization can be met if the Proposal includes a parcel or component set aside, within the larger development plan, for a team lead by and majority owned by one of the persons described in the first paragraph of this section.

AAREP Corporate Anti-Racist Platform

A Statement from AAREP on Recent Events

As an organization formed to promote the economic success of African Americans in the real estate industry, most AAREP members are far too familiar with racial injustice. The recent senseless murders and acts of violence against black people are a symptom of the cancer of systematic and institutionalized racism supported by pervasive white supremacist ideals engrained in America.

AAREP stands with the families and justice seekers across this country, advocating not only for equal treatment under the law, but for a change in legislation and policies aimed at preventing inhumane brutality against people of color.
As long as racism and prejudice are fabrics of our society, generation changing professional and economic success will be unattainable for the majority of African Americans.
We take a collective breath for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others mercilessly robbed of life.
We take a collective breath for people of color across this country.
We take a collective breath for anyone who has ever cried “I Can’t Breathe”.

Carisa Stanley
AAREP President