Illinois REALTORS® made history this week, naming Ezekiel “Zeke” Morris its 2022 president, the first African American person to hold the position.
Morris, of Willowbrook, is the designated managing broker of EXIT Strategy Realty/EMA Management, a brokerage on the South Side of Chicagoland. He was installed at the association’s Inaugural Gala in Naperville on Tuesday.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity to lead Illinois REALTORS® at a time such as this. I am inspired by the beauty of our mission, our values and our strategy,” Morris said in a written statement to colleagues in the real estate industry.
Morris succeeds Immediate Past President Sue Miller and will serve with President-elect Michael Gobber and Treasurer Matt Silver.
“In the coming year, I want us to join together, all 50,000 members, to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for everyone of all income levels, races and genders,” Morris said in a message to real estate agents. “We can and must take the lead in ensuring that every Illinoisan has the opportunity to experience that part of the American Dream.”
Illinois Realtors published a thorough profile of Morris on its website, noting that he has worked with friends and neighbors at the housing ministry at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, helping them with various housing-related issues.
Morris served as president of the Chicago Association of Realtors in 2013 and was honored by CAR with the creation of an annual scholarship bearing his name. The Zeke Morris Scholarship provides funds for those focused on helping create economic development opportunities for underserved communities.
Morris also serves on the national level as a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors, where he has was 2020 Liaison for Community Engagement and in 2018 chaired NAR’s Fair Housing Act Anniversary Working Group and the Fair Housing Act Anniversary Implementation Group.
He’s also served on a number of committees since 2012 including: Housing Opportunity, Diversity, Federal Housing Policy, Risk Management Issues, State and Local Issues Policy Committee, Smart Growth Advisory Board and the Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Advisory Group.
“I’m looking forward to a great year,” Morris said in the profile. “I believe we’ll have many opportunities for everyone to grow in the months ahead. I can’t wait to see what great things await us.”