BOD “Inspiration” Agenda Item a Was Major Understatement

Louisiana REALTORS® President Pam Foreman Testroet provides inspiration at the beginning of the NAR Board of Directors meeting

The NAR Board of Directors agenda for yesterday’s meeting item two, “Call to Order” included the Pledge and “Inspiration.” In a secular, non-profit board meeting, “Inspiration” usually means some watered-down invocation that is so focused on being inoffensive that it simply becomes insipid.

Inspiration was an understatement for this meeting. Before the speaker took  the stage to speak, a CBS Evening News video played. It told the story of Ruby Bridges, the first African-American student to break color barriers in New Orleans in 1960 when her parents made the difficult decision to send their then six-year-old daughter to what had been the all-white William Frantz School. In the wake of a massive uprising of anti-black protests by white residents, nearly all of whom took their white students out of the school to avoid racial integration, one white parent, Methodist Minister Loyd Foreman, made the decision to send his little girl to school the very next day. His color-barrier-breaking daughter, Pam Foreman Testroet, is now the president of the Louisiana REALTORS®.

Within this context, and set against the backdrop of an emotionally charged week of Fair Housing Act commemoration, Pam’s words of inspiration were truly inspirational, as she—and many audience members—choked back tears.

Then-six-year-old Pam Foreman walks with her father, Rev. Loyd Foreman. Pam was the first white student to cross racial protest lines to go to attend school with Ruby Bridges, the first African-American student in the previously all-white school in New Orleans in 1960. (From CBS Evening News video)

Then-six-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first African-American student to attend the previously all-white public elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Because of vehement racist protests, she Ruby was escorted to school under the protection of federal agents. (Photo from CBS Evening News video)


Matt Difanis

Matt is a multi-office broker/owner in Champaign, Illinois, home of the University of Illinois. He is a high producing team leader, a past President of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®, the 2018 President of the Illinois REALTORS®, a past REALTOR® Magazine “30 Under 30” honoree, and a law school graduate. Matt is also a photography and videography junkie.

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